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Air France Flight 4590
Transcript of Air France Flight 4590
Causes & Human Factors
The Psychology of a Plane Crash
Improvements As A Result Of:
Great amounts of emotional, physical, and psychological trauma can trigger a broad spectrum of chronic mental health disorders.
Every plane crash has a "golden time" which is indicative to potential survival.
Your personal state of mind can be the deciding factor for your own fate.
With a 27 year streak of crash free travel, Concorde become the somewhat synonymous to air safety.
Overconfidence and complacency strongly contributed to mass loss of life.
About a year later, the September 11 attacks take place, further descreasing public morale on Aircraft safety
After this incident the Concorde passenger planes continued to fly for three more years before being finally retired, But for the Concorde to continue flying improvements had to be made to ensure accidents like this were less likely to happen.
Some of the changes that occurred to the Concorde because of this incident were more secure electrical controls, Kevlar lining to the fuel tanks, and specially developed burst resistant tires
These tires would also be a major contributor to future aircraft development.
July 25, 2000
ESG 201: Learning from Disasters
Overview of the disaster
Impact on Society, Business, Engineering Field, & Media
Air France Flight 4590 was scheduled to depart Charles De Gualle International airport in
, to John F. Kennedy international airport in
on July 20, 2000.
The airplane was already over the
weight and 800kg over the maximum structural weight.
The fifth wing tank was over-fueled during taxiing; which may have had a negative effect.
There was lack of communication and over-confidence which lead to basic steps being ignored
For example, a vital spacer had not been replaced after maintenance check up leaving a 12-inch gap in the landing gear.
A couple of minutes after take off, the Concorde burst into Flames that started with a tire blow out
and no survivors.
Air France Flight 4590
The main issues were poor maintenance and material failure
A spacer in the landing gear had not been replaced after recent maintenance.
The cockpit crew failed to take time to taxi the other end of the runway to make the take off into a headwind, instead went straight to a tail wind take off. They also failed to check the runway for debris
As the plane took off it stuck a metal strip on the runway that fell off a Continental airline, which took off minutes before the Concorde. This caused one of the tires to burst and lead to the piercing of the fuel-tank.
Air traffic controller Gilles Logelin noticed the flames before it was airborne, unfortunately, there was only 2km of runway before take off. The Concorde would have needed at least 3km of runway to abort lift off safely. This tragic accident could’ve been prevented if the lift-off could have been aborted
There was a miscommunication with the people in the cockpit and air traffic control on where to go for an emergency landing.
The Aftermath : Lawsuits and Ongoing Battles
The Return of Supersonic Flight!!!!
The crashing of Flight Air France 4590 caused major turmoil for the Concorde airplanes, many believe that it was the beginning of the end for these types of flights
Air France’s Concorde venture was only losing them money
After this incident all Air France's Concorde planes were grounded until a thorough investigation had taken place to see what had caused the accident, and eventually the service would be stopped all together
Concorde flights were five times more expensive than a normal flight so people already showed disdain towards them
Flights were mainly geared towards the wealthy and elite
Biggest Financial disaster in commercial aviation's history, after more than a 4 billion dollar investment only 14 planes were sold
Concorde planes also compete against 747’s which could hold more people for severely less of the cost.
Engineers had to step up their game safety had to the primary objective so accidents like were never going to repeat itself
Engineers had to design and implement new features for these planes that would make them as safe as possible
Concorde flights could not afford negative publicity seeing that they already had a sparse population of passengers who could afford to travel with them
Media was in a frenzy everyone wanted to report about this horrific incident that occurred.
First and unforeseen last crash in Concorde's almost 30 year history
Many companies are in the process of trying to develop and bring back supersonic commercial/business flights.
Some are predicting commercial flights as early as 2020 while other experts
don’t foresee any real progress being made until 2030.
With depleting fossil fuels future air crafts will need to rely on less fuel or renewable energy.
Another one of the barriers these flights have to overcome is America’s and several other countries banning on supersonic flights crossing over land in their jurisdiction, which many believe that is a key factor in making this a profitable venture. Because it limits the routes that these flights can take.
Improvements on the new sonic jets include thinner wings, repositioning of engines above the wings
These improvements are to reduce the effect of the sonic boom, which is created when an object is flying faster than the speed of sound
Cramoisi, George. Air Crash Investigations: The End of the Concorde Era: The Crash of Air France Flight 4590. Manila, Philippines: Mabuhay, 2011. Print.
"Concorde Crash From Start To Finish Air France Flight 4590." YouTube. YouTube, 28 Oct. 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
Cowell, Alan. "Criminal Charges Against Continental in Deadly Concorde Crash." The New York Times. The New York Times, 03 July 2008. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
Hume, Tim. "Beyond Concorde: The next Generation of Supersonic Flight." CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
"Concorde Crash From Start To Finish Air France Flight 4590." YouTube. YouTube, 28 Oct. 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Most of the factors were heavily influenced by financial/business pressures
Underbelly, landing gear, Fuel tanks
Low chances of 2 engines failing before take-off made Concorde not train their crew (increasing vulnerability) for the possible event and, to save space, not have a sufficiently long runway
Mitigation: Regular maintenance and runway checks. Landing gear policy
Air travel is already extremely complex, The Concorde F-BTSC was further pushing that barrier for comfort (~3 hours from France to NYC)
So many moving pieces that a 12-in spacer was left on the old axle
Higher level of complexity than pilots were trained for (1 engine failure) caused unnecessary engine 2 shutdown
Electrical wiring caused the flames but also stopped the air traffic controllers from being able to communicate to the pilots where to go for an emergency landing
Many different pieces all failed: 1) missing spacer threw off alignment (possibly biggest issue) 2) heavy fuel/baggage load located too far aft ( no recalculation by pilots) 3) Took off into headwind 4) engine 2 shutdown (training)
All led to the simple cause of the crash: The Aircraft was moving too slow
Jet engines are also less efficient at these extreme speeds so more fuel is used, combined with raising fuel costs is another barrier faced by supersonic jets