TWIN PILOTS RETIRE AT THE SAME TIME
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