How One Metal Strip Ended an Entire Airline

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Image Credit: How One Metal Strip Ended an Entire Airline


This was a plane that the entire aviation industry was very proud of. It took many years to build and it remained in service for more than 30 years without any major issues. It was the world’s first and last supersonic passenger aircraft model, which is known today. 

We know Pebble by the name of Supersonic i.e. it flies at a speed faster than the speed of sound and takes passengers across the Atlantic Ocean in just 33 hours, but the world kept watching when on July 25, 2000, just 121 seconds, its 30 year old They overpowered the service and this model of the plane had to be discontinued forever. 

There was no problem of any kind with the aircraft before take off, but when the investigation took place after the crash, a metal strip as small as a pencil was blamed. Gaya, but how did a small metal strip sink a 110,000 kg plane and after this, the pebble was destroyed forever in the videos of Discontent, once again, Khushmadid Nazarene, this is the story of Air France Flight 4590, which was saved by the shawl of Paris. It was supposed to go from the airport to John F Kennedy Airport in New York. 

There were a total of 100 passengers, six cabin crew and three pilots present. The legend aircraft was BAC Kankad, which is considered to be the most dashing ship ever in the aviation industry, so much so that many people call it a miracle of engineering. We also understand that the biggest reason for this was that it flew at double the speed of a normal passenger aircraft, due to which the journey between America and Europe could be covered in just 35 hours instead of 7 hours. 

The speed of sound which is 1235 km is R. Kod used to fly even faster than this, at super sonic speed. Its top speed has been recorded at 2180 km/h. The reason behind flying at this speed was the amazing wing design of pebbles, which is called delta wing. This wing is usually used on fighter jets. But the engineers had installed it in Cockerel for the same reason so that it can fly at supersonic speed like fighter jets but the problem with this delta wing is that it needs a lot of speed for take off and not just speed. 

In fact, the angle of attack of the plane is also the angle of attack, that is, the time when the nose of the plane rises upwards for take-off. If seen for comparison, the angle of attack in the take-off of a normal passenger plane is very less, whereas in a narrow-gauge, the angle of attack is very low. 

The off attack is so high that the pilot cannot see the runway ahead, that is why the nose of the pebble has been kept flexible, which was lowered at the time of take off so that the pilot can see everything ahead, apart from the angle of attack. 

Talking about the speed, take off of Boeing 737 is done at 140 knots or 160 km per hour, whereas for take off, Kankar has to gain speed up to 200 knots which becomes R at 230 km, that is the higher speed. Due to this, excessive pressure was exerted on Kankar’s tires and in many incidents, their tires also burst. In its 30 years of service, Kankar’s tire bursts were recorded 57 times, but there was no significant damage in them, now because this tire is very durable. 

There were bursts at high speed, due to which the pieces of tire would hit the upper wing at the speed of a bullet, due to which there was a risk of wing puncture and because like other aircraft, fuel is stored in the pebbled wings, any minor tire burst fuel. 

To avoid causing leakage, the engineers made some changes in the landing gear of the early models of the Cored and made the tires stronger. Due to these changes, the issue of tire burst of the Cored was solved to a great extent. So much technical information. 

This is enough to understand the accident of Air France 4590. On July 25, 2000, at 2:3 pm, Air France flight 4590 was ready for departure. Both the pilots and a flight engineer, all of them were quite experienced. After passenger boating, they flew to the tower. 

Paris airport has two runways, 26A and 26L. 26A is the longer runway and the control tower also wanted a longer runway for take off, so the control tower gave them permission to go up to 26R. Flight 4590 went through taxiway Romeo and got aligned at 26A, but the issue was that Continental Airlines’ DC 10 aircraft was already ready for take-off at 26R, the same runway on which Cord was also supposed to take off at DC first. Take off was to take place on 10th and after that it was the turn of Air France’s Kankar. 

Image Credit: so the control tower gave them permission to go up to 26R. Flight 4590 went through taxiway Romeo and got aligned at 26A, but the issue was that Continental Airlines’ DC 10 aircraft was already ready for take-off at 26R,

During this, the captain of Kankar did flight checks which is a normal procedure before take off. In these flight checks, the weight and fuel of the plane was again reviewed. Well, when Continental Airlines’ DC 10 started its take off, a small metal strip separated from its right engine and fell on the runway. 

The pilot of this plane did not notice anything like this. The time difference between the take off of DC 10 and Cordon was so small that there was no time for runway inspection and at that time, runway inspections were done only twice a day at the airports of France. It was the turn of Air France 4590. After getting permission for take off from the control tower, they engaged the thrust levers, which meant that now all four engines were running at their full power. 

At this time it was 2: 42 in the afternoon and it started from here. 121 seconds which in the coming time would dominate the 30 year service of Kankad. Kankad had now started gaining speed at 26 R. After 24 seconds the First Officer informed the Captain that all four engines were working properly. 

After 11 seconds The First Officer gave a signal of v1 to the Captain which means that this take off cannot be boarded. A total of 35 seconds had passed for Kankad and he had crossed the runway of 1700 meters. 

After 243 and 9 seconds, Kankad touched down lightly. Took a left turn. Remember that all this information was being stored in the pebble’s flight recorder, which is also called a black box. The pilot did not make the left turn of the pebble, rather its left landing gear had climbed over the metal strip which was The engine of DC 10 had fallen off and in the next second, the left wheel of Kankad, which already had so much pressure on it, burst with a bang.

Now the question arises here that how did the investigation team come to know that the same metal strip was caused by the tire of Kankad. In fact, the second the plane took a left turn, the location recorded in the flight recorder was the same location from where the investigation team had found the metal strip, so there was a 99% chance that this was the same place. 

Kankar’s tire had burst due to a metal strip, but later in the article it will be proved that this metal strip was of DC 10 only. Kankar’s leftmost tire had burst and all this happened so quickly that no one even noticed it. Did not notice but in the next moment what the engineers had already suspected, the pieces of tire hit the fuel tank with such speed that the fuel tank burst and now the fuel started leaking due to pressure. 

Not only this but for some reason it started leaking immediately. A fire also broke out. At this moment the aircraft started dragging to the left and the captain pressed the right pedal to set it to vibrate. Unaware that his aircraft was on fire, the air traffic controller would notice that the pebble tech Turned off. 

As soon as take off, both the left engines of the plane stopped due to the smoke coming out of the fire. There is an air intake on the front side of the jet engine from where the engine sucks the air in and compresses it. When smoke started going in, the compressor got choked due to which both the engines failed. 

The flight engineer immediately started the emergency procedure. Meanwhile, the ATC also informed the captain that a fire was raging in his aircraft and he had to immediately return to the airfield. Asked to land, the pebble of Air France 4590 was now dependent on only two right engines. Due to the shutdown of both the engines, the pebble was not able to gain much altitude but it was very difficult for it to maintain its current altitude. 

It was stuck in the left wing. The fire also started melting the flap due to which the pebble started turning towards the left. The captain turned the ship to the right to set her vibration but due to this the speed was decreasing further and the speed was only Which could have saved Kankad at this time, finally at 121 seconds, 244 and at 31 seconds, Kankad’s left turn increased too much and while reducing altitude, it collided with a hotel building. This accident took the lives of 109 people present in Kankad and four people on the ground. 

Immediately after the accident, the crash site was sealed and investigation was started and as I told earlier, with the help of the flight data recorder, the investigators searched the part of the runway from where the pebbled left turn had taken place and found the metal there. The strip was seen lying. 

When they inspected DC 10 of Continental Airlines, indeed that metal plate was missing in its right engine. When the investigation team checked the maintenance history of Continental Airlines, it was found that this metal strip was missing as per the SOP of the engine manufacturer. 

It was repaired not once but twice, going against it. It was fitted in a haphazard manner by making holes with a drill a total of 37 times and this was the reason why it could not tolerate the vibration of the engine and broke and fell on the runway. After this, all the remaining Kanka aircraft were also grounded because their tire burst due to high speed, which was a well-known issue, had now taken the lives of 113 people. Engineers could not find any specific solution for this for the next several months. 

Next year 2001 After the 911 attacks, passengers all over the world stopped traveling by plane out of fear. The ticket price of Kankar, which was already much higher than that of a normal plane, was not possible to operate again in this situation. This was the point when the pebble was dismantled forever and kept in the museum. 

Perhaps in the future, humans will be able to travel at supersonic speed again, but for now, we only know that there have been 31 years in history in which humans have been able to travel at supersonic speeds. Used to travel faster than the speed of 1000 km. Hope you all like and share this article on Thank you very much for your loving comments. See you in the next great article.

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