Operating the Concorde was fun, and packed with events worthy of comment, but learning to operate it, to fly it and manage its idiosyncrasies, both on the ground and in the air, was an experience to document: so I have. In the process I have provided insight as to how, and why, the fatal accident occurred.
On the 25th July 2000, Airfrance 459 failed to recover from a double engine failure and 113 humans lost their lives. They died because: the weather was hot; the aircraft was overloaded and out of trim; there was sharp debris on the runway; there was a spacer missing from the port undercarriage bogey; the pilot rotated the controls at 170 knots; the flight engineer did not select contingency power, or dump fuel; he did a fire drill instead.
You can add other factors that include: sloppy work by the baggage handling department that left 19 bags unaccounted on the load and balance sheet; bad practice by the flight engineer in other aspects of engine, and fuel management; negligence by pilots, and the dispatcher, in not adjusting for the change in the wind direction; Continental Airlines for the debris; Air France engineering maintenance for the whopping mistake that allowed the port bogey to drag.
You can take into account all those factors, and more, but you cannot, in all conscience, just blame another airline. Had Wiki been leaking the true story we might have been forced to armour the vulnerable fuel tanks before the accident. Had Wiki been leaking the crew training stories Air France crews might have been better prepared.
Both articles are reproduced here for your convenience but before you go to that dark place that was The Paris Accident please know that I had the time of my life with Concorde. She was beautiful and she was exciting and she was a bitch when disrespected. We flew her all over the world way above the machines of lesser folk at speeds previously reserved for the military. On the North Atlantic in winter we could make the Sun rise in the west; over the Pacific we could see the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic all framed under the curvature of the Earth. We took her above the Arctic Circle to see Father Christmas and to the Antipodes to witness the return of Halley's Comet.
I didn't want her to die. Even though she was old before she was born I didn't want her to die. I didn't want her to die before she gave birth to a machine not limited by the little folk devoid of imagination. That she did die, so ignominiously in the hands of the incompetent, was a wet fish slap to the brilliance of the designers and manufacturers who built her and insulting of the engineers and pilots who brought her into service. That she came into existence at all, despite the chagrin of those shameless sophists in government, was a triumph of the human spirit. That she should die so disastrously was heartbreaking.