Continental Cleared in Crash Conviction
A French appeals court has overturned a 2010 manslaughter conviction against Continental Airlines, now part of United Airlines, for the Air France Concorde crash in 2000, which left 113 people dead. A metal strip had fallen off of a Continental Douglas DC-10 aircraft on the runway prior to Air France’s departure, which punctured one of the Concorde’s tires, and led to the crash.
On November 29, 2012, the appeals court stated that mechanical mistakes made by Continental were insufficient grounds to hold it legally responsible for the deaths. The ruling follows the 2010 conviction of the airline for involuntary manslaughter, as well as a conviction against John Taylor, a mechanic for Continental. Continental’s and Taylor’s convictions have been overturned, and a 200,000 euro fine that the airline was ordered to pay in the 2010 ruling has been quashed.
The Concorde crash occurred shortly after the jet took off from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on July 25, 2000. The aircraft crashed into the Hotelissimo Les Relais Bleus Hotel near the airport, killing all 109 people onboard, as well as four hotel employees.
The crash brought about the beginning of the end for Concorde. Following the crash, all aircraft were grounded pending investigation, and in 2003, all remaining aircraft were retired.
(Photo: Adam Pingston)