Air France Concordes – from triumph to tragedy

In the May 2015 issue of Aviation News, Stephen Skinner traced the highs and lows of Air France’s Concorde operations.

Captain Pierre Chanoine released the brakes of Air France Concorde F-BVFA and at the same moment Captain Brian Calvert did the same on British Airways G-BOAA.  The choreographed event on January 21, 1976 marked the first Concorde passenger services with simultaneous departures from Paris and London. 

Air France’s aircraft was flying to Rio de Janeiro via Dakar in Senegal and British Airways’ Concorde was heading to Bahrain.  These unlikely destinations were the outcome of the United States’ decision to ban Concorde landing in the country, ostensibly bowing to public protest over potentially high noise levels. 


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