BOAC arrival students | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

BOAC arrival students

BOAC arrival students

Expat students arriving for the summer holidays 1962

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Tuesday, July 24, 1962


From the aircraft registration, the aircraft was a De Havilland DH.106 Comet 4.


It most certainly was  - I remember it well and today people tell me we were lucky the plane didn't crash - apparently the Comet 4 had problems in that regard. From a letter to my parents, written on the return journey, we stopped at Rangoon, Karachi, Teheran, Beirut, Frankfurt and London. A veritable "milk run" ! 

Yes, the route taken was part of BOAC's round the world service operated by both Comets and Brittanias.

I have viewed a British Pathe newsreel available online of the proving flights that were made in 1959 showing  the round the world service and the stop at Hong Kong. The journey from London and back was done in 80 hours.

Hi Alison,

Howell Green, formerly a steward with BOAC, has been in touch to note your flights by Comet weren't anything to worry about.

There were several problems with the first model, the Comet 1, causing several fatal accidents in the early 1950s. But the problems had been fixed in the Comet 4, the newer model of the plane that you flew on.

He writes:  "The Comet 4 airliner had an almost unblemished record of safety, and I know that for a fact for I was posted to the Comet 4 fleet for five glorious years."

Regards, David

I did many trips on the Comet 4 as a kid between HKG and LHR.Fantastic feeling on take-off as it climbed up with enormous power.Yes it had a good safety record unlike the Comet 1 as Howell Green points out.I knew Howell from my days with British Airways...he helps with the BA heritage/museum.

Mike Cussans

The BOAC Comet 4 (and later BEA Comet 4B) fleets passed to Dan Air at Gatwick in the 1960s. I loaded many of them when working there as a student. I believe they soldiered on into the 1980s.

Indeed they did, as passenger aircraft, and even until 2011 as the much modified and hardly recognisable RAF Nimrod.

One thing about the long-haul LHR/HKG Comet/Britannia/VC10 flights was that one was usually allowed to disembark at refuelling stops, sometimes with a voucher for  the luxury of a proper sit-down meal !  :-)