In 1971, one of the airline's Comets operating a charter flight carrying Turkish migrant workers from Berlin Tegel to Istanbul was "escorted" by Bulgarian fighter aircraft into Sofia. The crew flying the aircraft was attempting to take the shortest route to Istanbul when leaving Yugoslav airspace by entering Bulgarian airspace, instead of taking the longer route through Greek airspace. They were not aware of the then communist government of Bulgaria's decision not to let any aircraft enter its airspace whose flight had originated or was going to terminate at a West Berlin airport, without stopping en route at another airport outside West Berlin. The aircraft landed safely at Sofia. It was released along with its crew and passengers when the flight's commander paid the fine the Bulgarian authorities had imposed for violating their country's airspace.
In May 1972 (19th) A Comet returning to Manchester from Alicante had indicators in the flight deck saying there was a problem with the undercarriage. Passengers were informed about the problem. The aircaft flew around Gatwick burning fuel before being diverted to Manston. The runway was coated with foam and the aircraft landed. The undercarriage did indeed collapse on impact with the runway. The aircraft carried along the runway before stopping. Fire was averted with the spraying of foam. The Comet was carrying 113 passengers plus crew. Passengers were told to adopt the brace position for landing. Luckily no one was hurt. Few were treated for shock before being ferried by coach onwards to their final destination of Manchester. Please read our newspaper article and picture by clicking the thumbnail images.
In 1973, Somali fighter aircraft forced a Dan-Air Boeing 707 flying through Somali air space en route from London Gatwick to the Seychelles and Mauritius with 83 passengers on board to land at Mogadishu Airport. The aircraft was flying through Somali airspace in violation of the prescribed procedure to apply for permission to do so in advance, as a result of an "administrative oversight" on the airline's part. As a consequence of this violation, the aircraft's captain was taken to court and a fine of £600 was imposed on the airline.
In 1974, one of the company's Boeing 727s (a Boeing 727–46, registration: G-BAEF) hit the localiser antenna of Luton Airport's Instrument Landing System while taking off on a charter flight to Corfu, rendering the system inoperative. The aircraft diverted to London Gatwick where it landed safely.
In January 1984 a Handley Page Dart Herald airliner owned by British Air Ferries and on lease to Dan-Air was invovled in a full scale emergency alert after a wheel brake failsafe light had lit up, on its outward flight to Stavanger.
Upon completing the repair and run-up of the faulty engine that had caused a rejected takeoff due to an engine oil warning at Berlin Tegel during the late 1980s, a Dan-Air Boeing 727–200Adv. collided with a jetway at the airport's terminal building while maintenance engineers taxied the aircraft back to its stand. This badly injured the ground crew member manning the jetway and ruptured the fully refuelled aircraft's centre wing tank at the left wing root. As a result, a large quantity of jet fuel spilled onto the tarmac. The maintenance engineers' failure to pressurise the aircraft's hydraulics had resulted in a complete loss of hydraulic pressure just before reaching the stand, making it impossible to steer the aircraft and rendering the brakes ineffective.
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On 2 March 1989, a Dan Air HS 748 mistakenly landed at Langford Lodge Airport instead of the nearby Belfast Aldergrove Airport, the intended destination of the scheduled service from Newcastle. When the aircraft broke cloud over Lough Neagh on short finals for Aldergrove's runway 07, the pilot in command thought what he had spotted was the correct runway and proceeded to land the plane at what turned out to be the adjacent, privately owned, Langford Lodge airfield, just under a mile short of the approach to runway 07 at Aldergrove.
On 25th May 1990 Emergency services at Newcastle Airport were placed on full alert when a passenger plane with a burst tyre approached to land. The Dan Air flight from Gatwick which had as almost full complement of 72 passengers and 5 crew on board, reported suspected damage to a tyre, sustained on take-off. It flew past the Newcastle control tower so air traffic control staff could make a check on the damage to its undercarriage. It was confirmed that the starboard inner tyre had burst. A full emergency procedure was put in place but the aircraft, a British Aerospace 146, managed to land safe
On 6th May 1992 A Dan Air Boeing 737 with 125 passengers and 4 crew on board made an emergency landing at Newcastle Airport after flying into a flock of birds. Emergency services were scrambled when the aircraft turned back just a few minutes after take-off. The plane landed safely and shaken passengers were taken back to the terminal to wait for a replacement jet for their flight to Lanzarote. You can see the larger image by clicking on it.