2002-12-07 / Front Page

Inbound Concorde Loses Rudder

By Howard Schwach

By Howard Schwach

A British Airways (BA) Concorde, only a minute from landing at JFK Airport last Wednesday, lost a portion of its tail rudder but managed to land safely.

According to British Airway sources, the plane was in a pattern that would bring it over the Rockaway peninsula when the pilots noticed "popping sounds" and felt a "minor loss of control."

Passengers in the plane’s cabin reported that they felt "vibrations" as the plane descended.

BA said that most of the passengers believed that the plane was experiencing turbulence.

After landing, an inspection found that parts of the lower rudders on the tail fin were missing.

The British Airway spokesperson added that the plane landed safely and that there were no injuries.

"Neither the passengers nor the aircraft were ever in any danger," the spokesperson added.

This is the fifth time in the plane’s history that one of the Concorde’s has suffered the loss of a control surface.

It is also the sixth time in the past year and the fourth incident in the last six weeks that the Concorde has had problems, either with its engines or with its control surfaces.

"Concorde is an enormously high-profile plane, so anything that happens to it is big news," a spokesperson told reporters. "All that really happened is that a bit of the bottom quarter of the rudder was lost."


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