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Pilot reveals 'real story' behind catastrophic crash that killed Concorde and 109 passengers

Pilot reveals 'real story' behind catastrophic crash that killed Concorde and 109 passengers

The crash marked the end of passenger supersonic flight.

121 seconds is all it took for Air France flight 4590, a Concorde supersonic aeroplane, to crash on July 25, 2000.

The aircraft burst into flames shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 people on board and four others on the ground.

This tragic event marked the first fatal crash of a Concorde in 24 years of regular passenger service and the end of a nearly spotless 30-year safety record.

One pilot, under the YouTube channel name of Mentour Pilot, shared the real story behind the crash, and the events that led up to it.

It all started about four minutes before takeoff.

'They initiate a fuel transfer from fuel tank 11 which is at the very back of the aircraft towards the feeder tanks,' Mentour Pilot explained.

This process adjusted the plane’s centre of gravity to 54%, which is the optimal position for 'maximum takeoff weight.'

At the same time, a DC-10 from Continental Airlines was taking off from the same runway.

As it did, a small metal strip - about 43 centimetres long - fell off its right-hand engine.

No one reported it, and no runway inspection was done prior so it went completely unnoticed, according to the pilot.

The Concorde hit the metal strip during its takeoff roll, which led to a series of catastrophic events.

At around 178 knots, a loud explosion was heard as one of its tyres burst from running over the debris.

'Pieces of the exploded tyre have been thrown up towards the underside of the left-hand wing' which is where the fifth fuel tank is located.

Mentour Pilot / YouTube
Mentour Pilot / YouTube

This pressure wave results in the fifth fuel tank rupturing and causing fuel to leak.

The pilot suggested that the tyre explosion might have also damaged electrical wires, leading to sparks and an eventual explosion when they came into contact with the leaking fuel.

Observers on the ground saw flames under the left wing as the plane accelerated down the runway but it was too late.

The aircraft veered left, and just as it became airborne, one of the left-side engines failed.

At this point, the Concorde dropped from the sky and crashed into a small hotel and restaurant in suburban Gonesse, Paris. All on board perished with the addition of four people on the ground.

In the aftermath, Air France grounded its remaining Concordes, and British Airways followed suit shortly after.

Although both airlines briefly resumed service in November 2001, by 2003, all Concorde operations ceased permanently.

'This marked the end of passenger supersonic flight,' the YouTuber concluded.

Featured Image Credit: Mentour Pilot / YouTube