On the basis of the initial facts established by the investigation, the BEA and the AAIB issued a safety recommendation concerning the aircraft on 16 August 2000. This recommendation was immediately accepted by the airworthiness authorities in France (DGAC) and the United Kingdom (CAA) and the Concordešs Certificates of Airworthiness were suspended.
The technical investigation into the accident to Concorde F-BTSC operated by Air France which occurred at Gonesse on 25 July 2000, conducted by the BEA with the participation of representatives of the AAIB, has so far established the following facts:
During the take-off run the front right tyre of the left main landing gear was destroyed between V1 and VR, very probably because it ran over a piece of metal.
The destruction of the tyre caused damage, either directly or indirectly, to the aircraft structure and systems, leading to the crash less than one minute and thirty seconds after the destruction of the tyre.
The damage sequence and the links between the various events are not yet fully established. Nevertheless, the following events occured:
The crew had no means to make them aware of the nature of the fire nor to take action to contain it.
Moreover, the in-service experience shows that tyre damage during taxi, takeoff or landing is not an unlikely event on Concorde and that it may actually lead to damage to the structure and to systems. However, this had never caused a fuel fire.
The accident that occurred on July 25, 2000, has thus shown that the destruction of a tyre -a simple event which cannot be asserted not to re-occur- had catastrophic consequences in a very short time-scale without the crew being able to recover from this situation.
Consequently, without prejudice to additional elements that may arise during the course of the investigation, the BEA and the AAIB recommend to the Direction General de l'Aviation Civile of France and the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom that:
The Certificates of Airworthiness of Concorde be suspended until appropriate measures have been taken to ensure a satisfactory level of safety as far as the tyre destruction based risk is concerned.