TWIN PI­LOTS RE­TIRE AT THE SAME TIME

Hayes & Harlington Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by SALINA PA­TEL salina.pa­tel@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Sali­naPa­tel1

THESE twin broth­ers have more in com­mon than meets the eye.

Both scaled dizzy­ing heights as Bri­tish Air­ways (BA) pi­lots and de­cided to cel­e­brate their 60th birth­days by op­er­at­ing their fi­nal flights back to Heathrow Air­port be­fore re­tir­ing.

Born 30 min­utes apart, cap­tains Jeremy and Nick Hart ended their fly­ing ca­reers on Fri­day Septem­ber 29, park­ing up their air­craft next to each other and walk­ing off their last ever flights – just 30 sec­onds apart.

To­gether they have clocked up al­most 45,000 fly­ing hours, spent three-and-a-half years in the skies and whisked more than two mil­lion pas­sen­gers to their des­ti­na­tions.

De­spite never hav­ing flown to­gether, both op­er­ated the A320 air­craft on short-haul routes for the air­line. Nick’s last flight from Gothenburg landed at 12.34pm, while Jeremy’s last flight from Geneva, also the first ever des­ti­na­tion he flew to, landed at 12.35pm.

Jeremy joined BA 30 years ago in 1987 while Nick joined from Bri­tish Mid­land, which was bought by and then ab­sorbed into Bri­tish Air­ways in 2012.

Although they are not iden­ti­cal twins, they look and sound so sim­i­lar they were of­ten mis­taken for one an­other.

Nick said: “Years ago Jerry never men­tioned to his col­leagues at Bri­tish Air­ways that he had a twin brother who flew for Bri­tish Mid­land, and one day a Bri­tish Air­ways pi­lot strode over to me at Heathrow and asked what on earth I thought I was do­ing dress­ing up in a Bri­tish Mid­land uni­form.

“It took a bit of ex­plain­ing to con­vince him that I wasn’t Jerry.”

Mean­while, Jeremy has had some in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ences.

He said: “I’ve been con­stantly mis­taken for Nick and on one oc­ca­sion I was called Nick the whole flight by my co-pi­lot.

“I’ve even been kissed by col­leagues who think they know me. “I guess it’s not a bad re­ac­tion.” At an early age the broth­ers were keen to be­come pi­lots hav­ing grown up mov­ing around the world ev­ery few years as their fa­ther, an English lec­turer, took on teach­ing jobs in the Mid­dle East and Europe.

Back then there were fewer se­cu­rity mea­sures and the boys would sit at the back of the flight deck be­hind the cap­tain and first of­fi­cer, fu­elling their pas­sion for pi­lot­ing planes.

They both gained their pri­vate pi­lot li­cences be­fore be­ing of­fered places to train for their com­mer­cial li­cence with Bri­tan­nia Air­ways.

Jeremy took the of­fer from Bri­tan- nia, mov­ing to Bri­tish Air­ways a few years later in 1987.

How­ever, Nick turned it down to train with Bri­tish Air­ways, but the course got can­celled.

From here Nick went on to univer­sity to study en­gi­neer­ing but still long­ing to fly he re-mort­gaged his house to pay for flight train­ing.

He qual­i­fied and worked for Manx Air­lines in the Isle of Man be­fore mov­ing to Bri­tish Mid­land and even­tu­ally BA.

James Bas­nett, BA’s head Air­bus pi­lot, paid trib­ute to the pair, say­ing: “I also have a brother on the Air­bus and thought that was pretty un­usual, but Nick and Jerry have swept the floor with us. They ar­rived in the world 30 min­utes apart, flew the same air­craft in the same air­line and then de­parted in the same man­ner that they ar­rived. Min­utes apart.

“A fit­ting fi­nale to long and im­pres­sive ca­reers and I know that they will be sorely missed on the fleet. We wish them the very best in their joint re­tire­ment.”

Re­tir­ing twin pi­lots Jeremy and Ni­cholas Hart

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