Twin brothers have retired as British Airways pilots after landing their final flights just 30 seconds apart at Heathrow Airport. Captains Jeremy and Nick Hart celebrated their 60th birthdays by touching down for the last time at the west London hub.
Nick flew in from Gothenburg, Sweden, at 12.34pm on Thursday, while his brother Jeremy landed after flying from Geneva, Switzerland, at 12.35 pm. Between them they have clocked up almost 45,000 flying hours and flown more than two million passengers.
Jeremy, from Flitton, Bedfordshire, described landing alongside his brother as "a good way to finish". He couldnot resist poking fun at the UK's congested airspace after his final flight in an Airbus A320.
"I've spent over two and a half years in the air", he told the Press Association. 'A lot of it in the holdong pattern over Heathrow'. Despite working for the same airline, the brothers didnot fly together as they are both captains. Jeremy said 'they never had a rivalry' over their flying careers, and were 'always supportive' of each other. He signed upto BA 30 years ago in 1987, while Nick joined the company from British Midland in 2012, when it was absorbed by the flag carrier.
Nick, from Banbury, Oxfordshire, said, 'I've done 28 years' short-haul flying. That's about 11,000 flights. It's atleast 1.2 million passengers. "Like every aeroplane has its last landing, so does a pilot. I think thats the way to look at it".
The pair are not strictly identical , but look and sound so similar that they are often mistaken for one another. Nick said, 'Years ago Jerry never mantioned 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!
BA's head Airbus pilot James Basnett said: 'They arrived in the world 30 minutes apart, flew the same aircraft in the same airlaine, and then departed in the same manner that they arrived. Mintes apart'. 'A fitting finale to long and impressive careers and I know that they will be sorely missed on the fleet'.