Continental is guilty for causing an Air France Concorde to go down in flames. Right. That's like saying that Osama Bin Ladin is innocent.
Okay, it's fair to say that I am a conspiracy theorist when it comes to Concorde. So, I'll make this short, sweet, and simple: Jean-Cyril Spinetta is a doucebag.
France's laws that require someone to be punished for a plane crash are ridiculous. It's almost like trying to put someone in jail after someone else commits suicide. Who is really to blame? Did Continental plan to destroy Concorde? Or did Air France and Airbus have this plan prepared for a long time?
Note: I credit all of this research that I refer to throughout this post to Rob Lewis, author of the book Supersonic Secrets.
Put yourself in the shoes of one Jean-Cyril Spinetta. Your airline is losing money because of Concorde. You want to blame it on British Airways because those bastards are making money. So you say, "Hey, they won't let us into Heathrow, so we can't make money." And when your cries fall on deaf ears, you make plans to shut down the program.
Another crappy company in France was also wanting to get rid of the money losing Concorde program. They are known as Airbus. By shutting down the program, Airbus could focus more of its time and money on another flying death trap, the A380. Naturally the two companies were able to work together.
As much as I would love to say that the two companies were planning on the crash of Sierra Charlie (F-BTSC), that's about like saying that the U.S. government was responsible for 9/11. Neither of these groups could pull off such a task. But can we truly blame Continental? No.
There used to be a major problem with flying: pilots. They thought they were smart. On July 25th, 2000, Captain Christian Marty (who was at the top of the Air France ladder) was one of these "smart" pilots. He looked at all of the factors of his flight: overweight, baggage that no one was sure who it belonged to, he thought it would okay to take off with the wind, and said, "Screw it! Let's go!" This guy is real good (I suppose that's why he's dead).
Taking off with the wind, overweight, and rotating too early, they hit a piece of scrap metal from a DC-10. This shot up and hit the wing causing the fuel tank to explode. WAIT! STOP! If the pilot had decided to re-taxi and get lined up into the wind, this would have never happened. Okay, go on.
Most pilots know that you never shut down an engine during take off, because you need the thrust. And when you're overweight, it's an even worse idea. So, leave it to our good captain Christian, to shut off engine number 2 without a second thought. Had he waited six more seconds, they might have landed at Le Bourget. Moments later engine 1 failed. Doom was the only option left.
Now, I don't know about you, but it sounds like the only thing Continental did wrong was not tighten a bolt as well as they should have. Maybe there's a pilot in the afterlife who really regrets not taking the time to take right.
Air France, Jean-Cyril, you are to blame for cocky pilots, and a mission to shut down the greatest aircraft ever built. Fight on United Continental Holdings! Don't give in! Oh, and did I mention, destroy all of your Airbus aircraft, because if it ain't Boeing, I ain't going!
But, I'm just a guy who likes to look at airplanes, so what do I know?