Concorde: Up in Flames

Mr Duncan Verity: Concorde: Up in Flames

First meeting of the new season chaired by Mike Cochrane.
Tribute to 3 time Chairman and life member Roy Howard (d. 2/6/18) by John Taylor.
Outline of new banking arrangements and short financial update by Roy Smith. Audited accounts to follow.

Duncan verity from Wetherby MF gave a competent presentation; but a horrendous one. Duncan introduced a National Geographic DVD about the fatal crash of an Air France Concorde airliner on take-off at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in 2001, which killed all 109 passengers and 4 people on the ground. Firstly we were shown a dramatic reconstruction of the moments before the crash from the point of view of the devastated traffic controller, who first noticed flames coming from the aircraft. Then we followed in detail the twists and turns of the Air France investigation during which all Concordes were grounded. There were 3 major clues – a ruptured tyre, a shattered fuel tank and a mysterious strip of metal. It transpired that the metal strip came off an American DC10 which had left a few minutes before Concorde. Tests showed that the Concorde fuel tank had shattered from the inside out on contact with the strip. Concorde flights were resumed but were abandoned in November 2003. The cost running “the beautiful white Supersonic bird” had become uneconomic.

Mr Verety explained, however, that many experts consider that some additional issues were not addressed. For example the 6 tons of extra weight which Concorde was carrying above its recommended load. These and other questions led to some interesting comments from members. Mike Cochrane gave the vote of thanks and recalled a visit to Filton in the 1960s when he saw Concorde being built.

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