View Full Version : Dan Air "Comet Men" - A Breed Apart?

Midland 331
27th Nov 2014, 12:12
I once worked with an ex-Dan Air Duty Officer who occasionally referred to some of the DA crews as "Comet Men", signifying a certain distinction.

Were they a specific sub-species within the Dan Air breed?

I wondered if there were any on PPRUNE, or if anyone else could share any insights?

27th Nov 2014, 15:06
Unless it's too obvious, surely it refers to those who flew the DeHavilland Comets within the DanAir fleet ? If the fleet up until the early 70's was made up of various propeller aircraft, the Comets must have seemed like spaceships regarding their speed, not the interior cabin space :)


27th Nov 2014, 16:53
Curiously enough, I recently read a book written by a chap called Mike Holmes who came out of the RAF and spent 10 years with Dan Air. He started as a F/O on the Comet and he gives a pretty stark description of "training" on the Dan Comet fleet. No names are mentioned but those of you of my age will recognise the "trapper" scenario versus the "trainer" scenario.

I don't know for sure but I suspect that the scene was that you had either already flown the Comet with 216 Squadron or BOAC and if not, you were immediately suspect and extremely unlikely to succeed.

The bit that amused me was the Dan Air Comet simulator. The device was the original BOAC Comet IV simulator which was huge and did not work too well. He mentions that every time they tried to switch the enormous motion system on, the whole of Horley was plunged into darkness.

So, to go back to the original question, my impression is that you were either in the Comet Club or out of it.