Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ten years later, Continental Airlines on trial for Concorde crash

Ten years after the fatal crash of an Air France Concorde shortly after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle airport, the criminal trial of Continental Airlines has begun in Paris, reports the New York Times. Prosecutors charge that faulty maintenance of one of its aircraft by Continental personnel led to a titanium strip of metal falling onto the runway. One theory of the crash alleges that the supersonic Concorde aircraft, built jointly by BAC (the British Aircraft Corporation, now BAE Systems) and AĆ©rospatiale (now part of EADS, parent of Airbus and Eurocopter) struck the titanium component upon takeoff, causing a ruptured tire that in turn ruptured the Concorde's fuel tank, leading to the fire that brought down the aircraft. 109 passengers and crew were killed, along with with 4 on the ground at the crash site.

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