Flight Engineer’s Log – Special Report


An account of the test development of this Comet and delivery to Mexico

Aircraft, particularly new types of aircraft, have to undergo a thorough testing and evaluation procedure before entering service The trials of G-AOVU are typical of that process. As part of the sales package, de Havilland would train purchasing airline crews – initially Training was at base at Hatfield. But to relate ‘training’ to normal operational situations almost always meant moving to the country of the purchaser. Larger operators would set up their own training schools e.g. BOAC and BEA, and they usually were equipped with a flight simulator. A ‘contracted partner’ could use these facilities and thus improve cost effectiveness. e.g Olympic and BEA. Depending on how many crews needed to be trained the spell overseas could be indefinite. [ I recall Ted Young going to Argentina for, ostensibly,  two weeks! Again this was following initial crew training at Hatfield. But the situation to change so that eventually he was there for 6 months!] See below for XA-NAR of Mexicana. Documented below are some of the Logs relating to G-AOVU. These illustrate how training developed. Of course to those in the industry these ‘training’ procedures are well known, but I include them here to demonstrate a typical situation to those not so versed. As will be seen, often, de Havilland crews would end up operating scheduled services!

Engineers office at Hatfield.

Des Watts, Pat Fillingham, Ted Young and Stan Borrie

June – July 1960

Christmas Eve saw G-APDJ brought to Hatfield from the Chester factory – the log notes this as its first flight.
Most of January and February was spent with the sister comet XA-NAS – it was checked out and a South American tour began
April saw the beginning of crew training for BEA. In June G-AOVU was re-registered XA-NAR for Mexicana
Familiarization, Circuits and Flight simulation took place in parallel with XA-NAR and XA-NAS in Mexico.
This was part of Mexicana crew training. Flights were joint Mexicana / de Havilland crews.
Little did de Havilland staff know that Mexico was to be their home for quite some time . . . .

Blériot Race

Copyright © David Young 2021