View Full Version : DH Comet on the Grass at Luton 1952

Lew Ton
27th Sep 2002, 17:59
Going through some stuff I found the following which was published in a local news paper in 1998. John Cunningham landed the Comet on the grass at Luton (no hard runway then) when Hatfield was shrouded in fog. The words are from the newspaper.


28th Sep 2002, 07:14
Judging by the background, Luton was quite foggy as well. Or was the lens on your Box Brownie a tad dirty :D :D

30th Sep 2002, 22:13
Nicely parked outside old Fred`s Flying club bar,where a few years later a Messenger/Auster?? ended up after someone tried to start w/out chocks,and it did start and went round and round and round,got dizzy(not Addicott-who worked at Huntings for a while),and tried to get to the bar,but ran into the hedge!!AHHHH, those were the days!! What`s in the background-York,and Pembrokes??

Should have added,it was the new "Old tower",not the "New" tower, and Satco was a chap called "Lew" as well, Lew!!:D

wet wet wet
1st Oct 2002, 10:43
Very interesting. But I'm curious, there were many other hard runways available in the vicinity, e.g. Bovingdon, Cranfield, Stanstead etc. Were they all fogged out? Or was the fuel situation critical? Luton was also the home of Hunting Percival, was the plan to “show off” the Comet to a rival of De Havilland?

1st Oct 2002, 12:40
Sadly, if I read the Reg correctly as G-ALYP, this aircraft was the one that crashed near Elba on 10/1/54, killing 6 crew and 29 passengers.

1st Oct 2002, 14:34
"Why Luton and not elsewhere?"

Perhaps JC just didn't fancy a long journey home in the fog - didn't he live in nearby Harpenden? ;)

vintage ATCO
1st Oct 2002, 18:36
Just for the record, I was Lew Ton. The name change is to protect the inncocent, or was it guilty. . . . ?

sycamore, you're showing your age now. I remember the Messenger through the flying club bar wall although I was only in short trousers at the time.

If you are referring to the ATCO 'Lew', he was never SATCO but I knew him very well. I was SATCO 1992-1999.

JC used to live at Kinsbourne Green, near Harpenden. His ashes were dropped there from Tiger G-APLU a few weeks ago.

vintage ATCO

Shaggy Sheep Driver
4th Oct 2002, 12:08
It has to be said that DH produced a fabulous looking aeroplane in the Comet airliner.

Do you remember what cars looked like in 1952??


no sig
6th Oct 2002, 21:13
I seem to recall another Comet grass field landing, didn't some take one into the museum at Strathallan's grass field back in the late 70's?

6th Oct 2002, 22:09

7th Oct 2002, 12:52

XK655 ex 51 Sqn, April 1980. (photo courtesy John Smith)

no sig
7th Oct 2002, 21:01
Thank you for that newswatcher, what a pretty picture.

8th Oct 2002, 13:26
...not to mention the Comet C2 that resided at RAF Halton. As confirmed by others when I posted a query about the Vulcans arriving on grass at Halton.