'Poorly repaired' part responsible for Concorde crash, says magazine

Click to follow

A "poorly executed" repair to a Continental Airlines plane using a hand-made part may have caused the Concorde crash, new evidence suggests.

A "poorly executed" repair to a Continental Airlines plane using a hand-made part may have caused the Concorde crash, new evidence suggests.

The part, made of titanium, fell off a McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 owned by Continental as it took off from Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris in July - indirectly leading to the Concorde crash hours later, which killed 113 people.

But the evidence, reported in this week's Flight International magazine, does not change the Civil Aviation Authority's finding that Concorde is not airworthy until such an accident cannot happen again.

The strip that led to the Air France Concorde's destruction was part of repairs made to a thrust reverser on the DC-10. The part, with hand-drilled holes, was made of titanium rather than a soft alloy as investigators had believed.

Flight International said nobody yet knows who carried out the faulty fitting. Middle River, the US manufacturer of the thrust reverser, told the magazine the strip was not part of the equipment it had supplied.

British Airways confirmed yesterday it was pressing the aircraft manufacturers European Aeronautic Space & Defence and BAE Systems to find a fix for the 12 remaining Concordes as quickly as possible so that the plane can return to service by February. Concorde's airworthiness certificate was withdrawn in August. The company is reported to think that it would become "economically unviable" to keep Concorde grounded beyond next summer.

British Airways is also seeking manufacturers that would be prepared to build "baby Concordes," to take over from the supersonic jet when it reaches the end of its expected life in 2015. The airline was trying to fulfil demand from travellers for supersonic travel, said Martin George, BA's director of marketing. "There has to be a successor to Concorde. We could not accept a situation where BA customers in 15 years' time cannot have a better experience than they do now," he said.

Comments