Martine TLOUZEAU - Welcome Home Concorde

Air France Concorde - F-BVFC Concorde FBVFC who was grounded at JFK since july 25th finally got the autorisation to return to Paris on september 21st. I think all AF staff on duty on that day wouldn't have missed the opportunity to escort our wonderful white bird along the taxiway to his last stand at the maintenance, the occasion for us to say how much we love him and how much we miss him too.

Air France Concorde - F-BVFC Some of us were gathered on the ROMEO deicing area which offers a nice wiew on the runway 27 where Concorde was supposed to land. 1527 utc, the familiar shape appeared in final approach, lights on. 1530 utc Concorde landed, perfect and majestic, as usual, and so silent... I have been told, afterwards, a lot of drivers stopped their cars along the A1 highway to watch the Concorde land and occured a great traffic jam ! The weather which was so bright and sunny a couple of hours earlier had turned cloudy and grey. It started to rain, as if the weather wanted to show its sorrow too. Concorde left the runway 27 and started his last goodbye tour. He got the authorisation to make a special farewell loop to terminal 2 before going to the maintenance for a while or for ever...

Air France Concorde - F-BVFCAs we were waving to the crew the copilot opened the cockpit window and responded , waving his hand to our small group, then the emotion turned so strong that the tears started to mix with the rain on our faces. Concorde went on to his rendez-vous in front of the headquater building. We followed him and rejoined him precisely when he stopped for a little while in front of the building to thank hundreds of persons who came out, under the rain, to show him how much they care for him. I couldn't see it but the Captain threw a rose from the cockpit in memory of the 114 victims. Someone had written " Concorde je t'aime" on a banderole. Most of the staff was gathered here, and this was another great moment of emotion.

Air France Concorde - F-BVFCI had the feeling I was living an historical moment, and Concorde will never fly again and I feel so sad.

Then Concorde left for another dear place : his stand on Alpha 20 ( terminal A ), where all the AF 001 ( then renamed AF 002 ) flights to JFK left from 1982...

It was time now to go to the last stand, on the maintenance. I wanted to escort him but they didn't allowed me. I will never forget our so beautiful white bird, prisonner of firemen and flycos cars , on his way to the cage when he is fit for flying...

NO. This can't be. Concorde will fly again, there are no other planes able to compete with him, he is the greatest, the most beautiful, the most elegant, the fastest, and it is not because they keep him grounded, they broke his wings.

Everybody knows it, and especially at the maintenance "

Martine TLOUZEAU load master at AIR FRANCE - September 2000