Today’s Illustration: The Crash That Ended An Era!

When: July 25, 2000

Where: DeGaulle Airport, Paris, France

What: Crash of Concorde passenger jetliner

  • The age of supersonic transports / SST / began to be the dream of the future beginning in the 1950s
  • It was believed that the 747 would become obsolete.
  • Enormous runways were needed for SSTs
  • “Concorde represented a triumph of British and French engineering and a milestone of human technological achievement, never mind that tickets were too expensive for ordinary people; the planes spent more time in maintenance than they did in the air; and all the orders from independent airlines were cancelled before it even went into service. But as soon as one caught sight of Concorde’s sleek, white form streaking overhead, all criticism melted away: the plane was beautiful, it was awe-inspiring, it was magnificent.” — rebellion research
  • Air France Concorde
  • Powered By four Rolls Royce turbojets
  • Flown for 24 years without a single incident
  • Paris to New York
  • Flies at approximately 1,350 miles per hour / twice the speed of sound / Mach 2
  • Able to cross the Atlantic in under 3 1/2 hours


  • Air France Flight 4590
  • Takeoff was @ 4:42 p.m.
  • 9 crew members
  • 109 passengers
  • Captain was Christian Marty — He had around 317 hours of experience with the supersonic jet.
  • First Officer Jean Marcot had approximately 2,700 on the Concorde
  • Flight Engineer Giles Jardinaud had been operating Concorde systems since 1997.
  • Loaded with 210,000 lbs of fuel with every tank to capacity.
  • With all fuel, luggage, and people, the plane was actually 1,500 lbs overweight.
  • Twenty-three seconds into the takeoff run, First Officer Marcot called out, “One hundred knots.”
  • Thirty-two seconds into the takeoff, they reached “V1”. That is the highest speed at which the takeoff could be aborted.
  • At a minute and ten seconds into the take-off (4:43:10), one of the Concorde’s tires hit a piece of runway debris.”

    “Traveling at immense speed, the inner front tire on Concorde’s left main landing gear ran over a metal strip lying edgewise on the runway. The strip instantly sliced deep into the highly pressurized tire, causing it to disintegrate with enormous violence. Within a fraction of a second, chunks of rubber and metal began to fly in every direction, ripping through wires, damaging the landing gear doors. And smashing into the underside of the wing. Fuel immediately began to stream from a hole in fuel tank #5, streaking back in front of the engine intakes and the landing gear bays, where a short-circuiting wire, damaged by flying debris, immediately set it alight.

    As a huge plume of flame erupted beneath the left wing. The ingestion of fuel and turbulent air caused both engines on that side to lose power. Violent surges rocked engines one and two as highly pressurized air from the combustion chambers forced its way back out through the inlets. The plane started to veer to the left. The asymmetric thrust and damaged left gear dragging it away from the runway centerline.”

  • “The final word recorded on the cockpit voice recorder was First Officer Marcot’s last, desperate “No!”
  • The entire Concorde fleet was grounded while the cause was investigated.
  • Investigation: “The investigation revealed that the plane that took off just prior to Flight 4590 had dropped a piece of metal onto the runway. When the Concorde jet ran over it, its tire was shredded and thrown into one of the engines and fuel tanks, causing a disabling fire.”

Key Biblical Thoughts:

  • tragedy
  • say not today or tomorrow
  • life / death
  • failure
  • salvation
  • damage
  • a small piece of debris
  • providence
  • plans/planning
  • Ecclesiastes
  • adultery
  • desire / lust
  • terrible accidents

Sermonic Example: There are several distinct ways to use illustrative material.  This sermonic example is going to employ the fourth method of introductory illustrations — method #4.

(use whatever you find useful in the above details)

. . . . The article states, “The final word recorded on the cockpit voice recorder was First Officer Marcot’s last, desperate “No!”

The timing, the small piece of debris, the angle and location of it, the kind of aircraft that hit it — an SST, the nature of the damage it created, the speed and position on the runway, and more . . . . all became the elements of the disaster that no one could have anticipated. It was a crash that ended an era.

You can look back and see how all the parts and pieces came together, but you could never have predicted the details which caused the crash.  That is what investigations do — they look back to see how it all happened.

Today, we are going to look back at an event in the Scriptures that could have never been predicted.  A whole series of elements came together and contributed to the disaster, which was never anticipated, and we would have never anticipated this happening based on all we knew.

It is found in II Samuel — after years of successful “flights” and “fights, we would have never thought this could have taken place in the life of one of the greatest kings over all of Israel.  It was a time when the kingdom was at its peak.  David had rest from all his enemies — II Samuel7:1 . . . . 

. . . Now we come to chapter 11 . . . . It was a crash that ended an era . . . . “No” is what you want to say when you finish this story.


Other Information & Links:


“Aboard Air France flight 4590, Flight Engineer Jardinaud announced, “Failure eng… failure engine two!” One second later, a fire alarm bell sounded as the heat of the blaze triggered the #2 engine fire warning circuit. “Shut down engine two!” he said.

“Engine fire procedure!” said Captain Marty.

Jardinaud immediately pulled the fire extinguisher handle. Simultaneously, the #1 engine, which had begun to recover from the initial surges, started to lose power again as pieces of the burning wing fell back into the engine intake and damaged the compressor blades. Their speed began to drop as the heavy airplane struggled to stay airborne with only two properly working engines. “Watch the airspeed,” First Officer Marcot shouted, “the airspeed, the airspeed!”

Over the air traffic control frequency, the pilot of another aircraft said, “It’s really burning, eh?” A few seconds later someone added, “It’s really burning and I’m not sure it’s coming from the engines.”

In order to reduce drag and increase airspeed, Captain Marty ordered, “Gear on retract!”

“Gear! Jardinaud said.

“Four five nine oh, you have strong flames behind you!” said the controller.

“Yes, roger,” said Marcot.

“The gear, Jean!” said Jardinaud. “Gear!”

“So, do as you wish,” said the controller, “you have priority to return to the field.”

“Gear retract!” Marty said again. The fire alarm in the #2 engine came back on, even though the extinguishing system had been activated.

“I’m trying!” Marcot replied. He moved the gear handle to the stowed position repeatedly, but the landing gear refused to retract. Damage to one of the gear doors prevented it from opening properly, stalling the entire gear retraction sequence.

“I’m firing it,” said Jardinaud, responding to the second fire alarm by cutting fuel flow to engine #2. Its parameters clearly showed that it was not generating power anyway.

“Are you shutting down engine two there?” Marty asked.

“I’ve shut it down,” said Jardinaud.

“The airspeed!” Marcot warned again. “The gear isn’t retracting!”

Almost directly ahead of them lay the municipal airport of Le Bourget, only a couple kilometers out. The runway was too short for Concorde, but it was their only hope. “Le Bourget, Le Bourget!” First Officer Marcot exclaimed. Keying his mic to talk to ATC, he said, “Negative, we’re trying for Le Bourget!”

But Concorde was out of time, and out of airspeed. At that moment the plane decelerated below the minimum speed required to maintain directional control with two failed engines. The left wing dipped and the plane rolled 113 degrees to the left, spiraling inverted toward the ground. Captain Marty immediately rolled back power on engines three and four in an attempt to reduce the asymmetry and regain control, but it was too little, too late.”

full PDF of pictures and rebellion research article


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