View Full Version : BOAC Comet 1 Crash - Elba - G-ALYP - Crew Photos

Boss Raptor
28th May 2004, 19:10
I met by co-incidence the daughter of the BOAC steward who was killed on the infamous Comet disintegration near Elba

(not?) Surprisingly she new very little about the detail surrounding the crash and subsequent history, and was recently rather upset to see a recent documentary uncovering documents which showed DH had told Ministry of Supply about their concerns for structural fatigue...

Anyway I managed to find a copy of the Accident Report and Findings which gave a lot of technical detail and did name her father...there seems to be many references to pictures of passengers and crew boarding in Rome on many of the press excerpts from the time...it would be nice to find this set of pictures as it will no doubt show her father (who was lost when she was 6)...any ideas, it was one of a series of promtional flights? BA archives, BAe (DH) archives?

As a matter of interest they never found his body, they offered some time later to fly the mother only out to see the memorial in Elba but she refused, understandably not wanting to fly...all his family received was a small payout from the Industrial Injuries Compensation Fund and all they got from BOAC was a set of candlesticks! If it had not been for a seperate personal insurance policy and moving in with relatives the family apparently would have been destitute.

28th May 2004, 22:53
Can't help per se Boss, but was the source of her original discomfort the infamous and apparently highly inaccurate "documentary" by C4?

Boss Raptor
29th May 2004, 07:47
It was indeed but I was not aware it was inaccurate - as I recall some of the letters were pretty clear cut...

She had always been told/believed that her father died doing something good for his country i.e. he died on a very new and very advanced aircraft etc.

I had to support the fact that in my opinion technology/design and/or simulation tools and almost total lack of experience in the new area of high altitude flight/structural design meant that 'they' DH/BOAC et al. did not know and had no means of knowing/calculating/forecasting that catastrophic result - and in fact the accident report clearly indicates that the baselines they used as safety factors were totally inadequate and proven to be ill conceived and wrongly calculated as well.

I must admit the accident report is fascinating reading and is on the net on a very good amateur site


Still only a pair of candlesticks from BOAC to our minds today certainly seems a bit naff :*

29th May 2004, 10:34
Boss, the documentary was inaccurate, and most of the letters which C4 claimed to have were not what they purported to be. They basically accused DH, BOAC and the ministry of criminal negligence.

The broadcasting standards comission upheld complaints that it was unfair, in my opinion it verged on libellous. Your aquaintance has good reason to be upset, as did those who designed and built the comet.

There is a very thorough article in the May 2004 issue of 'The aerospace professional' (RAeS) which details the reasons why those letters had nothing to do with the loss of yp or yy, and is really worth reading if you saw the original programme.

Boss Raptor
29th May 2004, 12:35
Unfortunately I dont have access to that publication can it be found on the net as I was not aware that the claims had been successfully and credibly challenged?

Quick Google and I have just e-mailed the RAEs librarian with the request

Thanks yr help :)

29th May 2004, 12:47





I seem to remember someone publishing a link here to the Broadcasting Complaints adjudication, but I canít seem to find it here or with Google.

This site gives a non-working link to the report:


Maybe your efforts will come to more than mine, but it seems as if the relevant part of the BSC / OFCOM site is down / moved / erased. Sorry I canít offer more info.

edit: I should add that I did read the report via the 'web, so either it's out there somewhere or they've taken it offline as the DlYoung link would suggest.

Boss Raptor
29th May 2004, 13:14
Re-archived under


Anyway tks have contacted a colleague who is RAEs member and also RAE's library to get a copy of the article :ok:

31st May 2004, 12:44
IIRC interviews with some of those involved - Mike Ramsden and John Cunningham were amongst them - were shown out of context and writtren rebuttals appeared in several aviation mags - Aeroplane published one I think.


Boss Raptor
4th Jun 2004, 09:26
Tks to guidance given above I have today received a copy of the article courtesy of the RAeS librarian...

Interesting reading and apparently proven how yet again had the Journos concerned actually investigated further their appears no case to answer - but no as usual they jump on a 'sensationalist' lead with it seems no technical guidance/input and manipulate it into an incorrect story - which I might add stressed/distressed a number of people unduly...

Tks to all