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During the History of the Comet, a few specific crashes played a key role in the further development of its design. Some of the most important crashes, as far as the re-design of the DH106 COMET, are briefly outlined below. The Date, Registration number and the important engineering information gained from the crash is included.

Mar 03, 1953 – CF-CUN – After this crash in the Canadian Pacific, it was determined that the wings of the DH COMET lost a considerable amount of lift if the plane was pulled up too fast. This discovery of this problem also accounted for a previous crash during take off on Oct 26, 1952. At the time of the 1852 crash, pilot error was named as the cause of the accident. Changes were made to the leading edge of the wings to solve the problem. There were eleven people on board all were killed.

May 02, 1953 – G-ALYV – This crash occurred on a flight between Singapore and London. The plane flew in to a tropical thunderstorm while attempting to reach it’s final cruising altitude and disintegrated. The plane’s wreckage was spread over a 20km2 region. After investigation, the cause was determined to be an overload in the tail of the aircraft. Future crashes of the Comet point to weak structure being a main cause of this crash as well. All forty-three people on board were killed.

Jan 10, 1954 – G-ALYP – Also on its way from Singapore to London, this plane simply exploded at an altitude of 25,000ft. All twenty-five people on board were killed. After the investigation of the incident, engineers made over sixty modifications to the aircraft. These changes included new fuel pipes, smoke detectors and engine casing in case of explosion. The flight of the Comet was suspended from January until March 23, 1954.

Apr 08, 1954 – G-ALYY – Despite the numerous changes, this next crash occurred only a few weeks after the Comet’s return to the air. The Comet was once again grounded. Although flight tests turned up little evidence, underwater stress tests showed the fuselage was rupturing due to stress. The mystery of the crashes was solved. After the fuselage ruptured, the difference in pressure outside the airplane would tear the plane to pieces. All 21 people on board were killed. These discoveries about metal fatigue were revolutionary to the aerospace design industry.

Mar 22 1964 – G-APDH – During the landing phase in Singapore, one of the gear forging broke due to stress and metal fatigue. The plane caught fire, but no one was killed