Death of a Dream: The crash of Air France flight 4590

In a photo taken from on board a nearby 747, Concorde can be seen taking off in flames. (Toshihiko Sato/AP)
Onlookers gather around an early model of the Concorde in the 1970s. (Conde Nast Traveler)
Concorde was known as one of the most beautiful planes ever to fly. (Conde Nast Traveler)
A Concorde lands at Dulles Airport in 2003. (Air & Space Mag)
F-BTSC, the aircraft involved in the accident. (Michel Gilliand)
Christian Marty, center, is congratulated after one of his big windsurfing adventures. (American Windsurfer)
Various calculation methods yielded several estimated weights for the plane, which ranged from 700kg to 1,200kg overweight. (BEA)
The metal strip hit by flight 4590, photographed where it came to rest on the runway. (BEA)
A photo taken from a nearby plane shows the first stage of the fire. (BEA)
During its takeoff, Concorde came shockingly close to striking the 747 containing President Jacques Chirac. (Toshihiko Sato/AP)
Shaky handheld video recorded by the wife of a Spanish truck driver captured some of flight 4590’s final seconds. (AP)
Another grainy photograph captured the burning plane in flight. (9News)
The path of Concorde’s brief flight. (Google + own work)
This rare photo is one of the only images to show the hotel after the crash but before it completely burned to the ground. (La Depeche)
British tabloids did not hesitate to run special issues on the disaster. (The Sun)
An aerial view of the crash site the following morning shows that little remained of the hotel. (Le Telegramme)
Another view of the scene of the disaster, including the only part of the hotel which remained standing. (Le Republicain Lorraine)
Debris from Concorde littered the field in front of the hotel. (France24)
The hotel was reduced to scorched rubble. (UPI)
The main fuselage section containing most of the victims came to rest in the field. (BEA)
This aerial photo of the marks on the runway clearly shows that Concorde began to veer left only after it caught fire. (BEA)
N13067, the plane which dropped the metal strip. (Remi Dallot)
The place where the missing wear strip was previously attached. (BEA)
A memorial now stands on the former site of l’Hôtelissimo Gonesse. (Marc Bonas)
A news graphic shows the modifications undertaken after the crash. (BBC)
Cheering crowds gathered to watch Concorde on its last ever flight to storage in Bristol on November 26th, 2003. (CNN)



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Admiral Cloudberg

Admiral Cloudberg


Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at