Air France Concorde Flights Still Grounded

August 2, 2000

Flights on Air France’s five Concorde jets will remain suspended, pending decisions on how to improve the safety of the plane following the July 25 Air France Concorde crash. The supersonic jet went down just after taking off from the Charles de Gaulle Airport, crashing into the hotel Hotelissimo in the small town of Gonesse, and killing all but one of the 110 passengers and crew. Four people on the ground were killed, as well.

Flights on Air France’s five Concorde jets will remain suspended, pending decisions on how to improve the safety of the plane following the July 25 Air France Concorde crash. The supersonic jet went down just after taking off from the Charles de Gaulle Airport, crashing into the hotel Hotelissimo in the small town of Gonesse, and killing all but one of the 110 passengers and crew. Four people on the ground were killed, as well.

The BEA (French Accident Investigation Bureau), published the initial findings of the crash inquiry on July 27: “During take-off, after the aircraft had exceeded V1 (decision speed), the control tower warned the crew that there were flames at the rear of the aircraft. The voice recorder revealed that, after the rotation, the crew announced a failure in engine No. 2, adding shortly afterwards that the landing gear could not be retracted…The plane had been in flight for less than one minute when engine No.1 started losing power again. The plane then banked sharp left and crashed.”

According to Air France, the inquiry is still in its initial phase and a preliminary report will be published at the end of August. British Airways, which is the only other airline to fly Concordes, issued a statement immediately after the incident that “We have complete confidence in our Concorde aircraft and our engineering.” However, the weekend following the tragic crash brought several new troublesome incidents involving Concordes: one emergency landing due to fuel odors, one due to flames from an engine, and one plane grounded after a loud bang was heard inside the cabin.

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