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Concorde crash

Air France Flight 4590 was a Concorde flight operated by Air France which was scheduled to fly from Charles de Gaulle International Airport near Paris, to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. On 25 July 2000, it crashed into a hotel in Gonesse, France. All one hundred passengers and nine crew members on board, died. Most of the passengers were German tourists en route to New York for a cruise (97 Germans, 8 French, 2 Danish, 1 Austrian and 1 American). On the ground, four people were killed and one seriously injured (2 Polish, 1 Mauritanian, 1 Algerian).

The flight was chartered by German company Peter Deilmann Cruises.
This was the only fatal Concorde accident during its 27 year operational history. It was the beginning of the end for Concorde as an airliner; it was retired three years later.
A twelve-inch spacer that normally keeps the left main landing gear in alignment had not been replaced after recent maintenance; however, the French Bureau Enquetes-Accidents investigation of 2002 concluded that this did not contribute to the accident. The wind at the airport was light and variable that day, and was reported to the cockpit crew as an eight knot tailwind as they lined up on runway 26R. Over an hour delayed, the crew proceeded with take-off.

Five minutes before the Concorde, a Continental Airlines DC-10 departing for Newark, New Jersey, had lost a titanium alloy strip. French authorities acknowledged that a required runway inspection was not completed after the Continental takeoff, as was protocol for Concorde-takeoff preparation.

During the Concorde’s subsequent take-off run, this piece of debris, still lying on the runway, cut a tyre, rupturing it. A large chunk of tyre debris (4.5 kilograms or 9.9 pounds) struck the underside of the aircraft’s wing at an estimated speed of 140 meter per second (310 mph).

Having passed V1 speed, the crew continued the take-off but the plane did not gain enough airspeed with the three remaining engines, because the severed electrical cables prevented the retraction of the undercarriage. The crew reduced the power on engines three and four in an attempt to level the aircraft, but with falling airspeed they lost control and the jetliner stalled, crashing into the Hôtelissimo Les Relais Bleus Hotel near the airport.

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