Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Concorde's Return; Pilot Takes His Seat for First Flight since Disaster

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Concorde's Return; Pilot Takes His Seat for First Flight since Disaster

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK BENHAM

By Mark Benham Mike Bannister is captaining BA Concorde Alpha-Foxtrot today.

He and four crew members boarded the jet just before midday CAPTAIN Mike Bannister and four flight crew boarded British Airways Concorde at midday today for the aircraft s first flight since the Paris disaster and the most vital test in its 30-year history.

BA Concorde Alpha-Foxtrot, flanked by another three of the supersonic jets, stood outside a Heathrow hangar ready for the 2.20pm take off. It was to be the first supersonic flight by a commercial plane since an Air France Concorde plunged into hotel on 25 July last year, killing 113 on board.

Today s three hour 20 minute trip towards Iceland will determine if months of safety modifications have been a success. Engineers have equipped the plane with kevlar-lined fuel tanks and reinforced undercarriage wiring aimed at preventing a repetition of the crash. A successful flight will speed a return into service, possibly s early as September. …

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