Wings Magazine

Upcoming Concorde disaster trial

Dec. 12, 2008 - In the September/October 2008 issue of Wings, Rob Seaman posed a number of questions about an upcoming trial stemming from an Air France Concorde accident in 2000.  Recently, Etienne Sepulchre took the time to offer some "food for thought" and address several of Rob's concerns.

December 12, 2008  By Etienne Sepulchre

Regarding your questions about the upcoming trial in question, I would like to suggest the following points as food for thought only, as my training is in Canadian Law with a very limited knowledge of French Law:
– The Canadian Aeronautics Act provides for the vicarious liability of employees of an airline or maintenance base, etc.,  I am not so sure the same applies in France, i.e.: if blame for the piece of metal from a DC-10 that punctured the Concorde’s fuel tank on take-off can be squarely laid on the shoulders of an individual, French law might not allow, as in Canada, for the Prosecution to go after the employee’s superiors.

– The so-called ‘deep-pocket’ theory that applies in civilian cases in the U.S. and increasingly in Canada, might be of no significance in France.

– As far as I know, the criminal prosecution and the civilian trial of a case in France go hand-in-hand, not so in Canada, hence the delay in proceeding to trial.
The above might explain, I stress ‘might explain’, your legitimate concerns about why specific individuals, as opposed to corporations, are named in the upcoming trial relating to the Concorde crash after take-off from the Charles-de-Gaule’s airport in France years ago.
Yours sincerely,
Etienne Sepulchre (Jr.)



Stories continue below