Re: Why are these guys even in charge?
"The Comet, being a jet aircraft and sporting hydraulic controls, flew differently; perhaps the biggest problem a pilot faced was over-rotation on takeoff."
That, and the issues raised by hot-and-high airfields on low-chord wings wasn't fully appreciated by designers of the era. Reliable takeoff speed was around 20 knots higher at Karachi than at Heathrow as a f'instance, but the manuals didn't reflect that information until there was at least one runway overrun.
It's lessons specifically learned from those kinds of incidents which make aviation as safe as it is today and are the reason modern jetliners can extend such massive acreage of flaps/slots for extra lift at low speeds. (~30% extra wing area in the case of a 747)