Giuliana Sgrena Saga Syndrome

…appears to be spreading, or is, at the very least, contagious.

A French judge placed Continental Airlines under judicial investigation on Thursday for “involuntary homicide and injuries” in the Concorde crash which killed 113 people near Paris in 2000. A Continental lawyer denied the U.S. airline bore any responsibility. But an official report last December blamed the accident on a metal strip that fell off a Continental Airlines jet, causing a tire on the supersonic airliner to burst.

It seems it’s not the government funded, perpetually subsidised, inherently problematic and dangerous design that’s responsible:

civil aviation authorities banned the world’s only civilian supersonic airliner from the skies because of mounting evidence of profound structural errors in the original design.

To blame is what we used to call ‘TFOA‘ (um, Things Falling Off Aircraft ~ in it’s most hilarious assignment, the blue ice expelled from the onboard lavatories), an especially handy excuse when it fell from an airliner with an American flag. In spite of the fact that their inferior product was brought down by a flaw already noted and not corrected (which pretty much constitutes negligence in my book). Bits and pieces (FOD in the aviation vernacular or ‘foreign object damage’) on the runway is an all-too-common result of the jarring any airliner has to be able to withstand: both it falling off and it being run over. There will be some way they can twist this into ‘our fault’, trust me. Just throw your hands up now, Mr. Ambassador. They’re probably dialing your number as I write this. Let’s toss Princess Diana and Dodi in while we’re at it. That will at least shut his old man up.

4 Responses to “Giuliana Sgrena Saga Syndrome”

  1. Bill McCabe says:

    Nor is it the fault of the ground crew at the airport, who are presumably supposed to make sure the runways are usable.

  2. Which is incredibly difficult, considering the tempo of operations at urban airports. In El Toro, before the day’s schedule would start, the whole maintenance department would fall out for a FOD walk at the start of every shift. It would normally be a leisurely stroll, all of us lined up, eyes on the deck, up and back on the flightline and squadron taxiways. There isn’t that luxury of time at major airports, but an airliner is a considerably tougher bird than a military jet.

  3. The Other Guy’s Fault

    Despite the fact that things frequently fall off aircrafts when they land or take off, that ground crews are supposed to clean runways for precisely that reason, and that the Concorde is well-known for having “profound structural errors”, a French…

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