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Tragic accident that ‘killed’ Concorde turned 20 years

On July 25, 2000 at 4:44 p.m., the Concorde F-BTSC in tricolor colors chartered by Peter Deilmann Cruises for passengers on a cruise departing from New York crashed shortly after taking off from Paris-CDG near the town of Val d ‘Oise, killing all 109 passengers and crew on board as well as four people on the ground. The commemorative ceremony will take place at the Patte-d’Oie site, in front of the stele erected in 2006 in honor of the victims.

The supersonic was returned to service in November 2001, but will make its last commercial flight two years later. The report of the Bureau of Investigations and Analyzes (BEA) and the judicial investigation brought to light major failures on this aircraft, identified in 1979 by Aérospatiale and communicated to its two operators, Air France and British Airways. .

During the appeal trial in 2012, the courts finally released all the accused: Continental Airlines, two of its employees, as well as Claude Frantzen, one of the main leaders of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) in 1966. in 1994. But the American company remained condemned in civil to pay one million euros in damages to Air France, the metal strip lost by its DC-10 at Roissy being held responsible as in first instance for the chain of events which had led to the accident.

The BEA was then criticized for its lack of independence: according to the SNPL pilots’ union, “in this accident as in that of AF447”, the “passivity of these organizations, faced with the repetition of serious precursor incidents, played a decisive role in the occurrence of the accident ”.

The crash was the only fatal accident during the Concorde’s 27 years of service. The aircraft made its first flight on March 2, 1969 in Toulouse, lasting just 29 minutes; pilot André Turcat, at the controls that day, passed away in January 2016.

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