LONDON (Aug. 16)—French authorities investigating the fatal crash of an Air France Concorde July 25 outside Paris have determined that debris from a burst tire on the left main landing gear punctured at least one fuel tank on that wing and set off a chain of events that led to the crash. The tire "very probably" was destroyed because it ran over a piece of metal, investigators said. As a result of the determination and the possibility of a similar accident because of the aircraft´s design, the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom suspended the certificates of airworthiness for British-registered Concordes. British Airways P.L.C., which operates these Concordes, immediately suspended supersonic jets´ flights. In describing the accident, Ken Smart of the U.K.´s Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions said, "The destruction of the tire has caused damage, either directly or indirectly, to the aircraft structure and systems, leading to the crash." Goodyear supplies all tires to the Air France Concorde fleet. BA´s Concordes are supplied by Dunlop Aircraft Tyre Co., an independent company with no connections to either Goodyear or Dunlop.
Concorde investigation focuses on metal on runway
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