Letter: Concorde column puts a scare in him

Your Aug. 17 op-ed by Bob Thomas entitled "Concorde's design, engineering made safe aircraft" scared the heck out of me where it ended up with the conclusion that no one can ever know for certain how long an aircraft can fly before it will fail structurally.

The thing that scares me is that my house is constantly being flown over by general aviation airplanes which probably do not carry enough insurance to reimburse me for the damages if one of them dumps on my house.

Mr. Thomas' introductory statement that the Concorde design culminated in a master piece of reliability does not reassure me.

After all, reliability is a term with a numerical value between zero and 100 based on mean-time-between failures. That figure is never published for any aircraft because the public might be frightened to fly. If that is not enough, remember that the controls of most aircraft are still metal clotheslines running over pulleys.

ARCH COOKE

Retired Aircraft Control Designer

Carson City

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