Other Incidents - DAN AIR REMEMBERED

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  • 12th June 1968 a Dan Air Comet returning from Palma to Gatwick with 95 passengers on board was approaching Gatwick with a suspected engine fault. The cabin filled with smoke. The aircraft landed safely without incident. Fire crews and ambulances were on standby. The problem was caused by an electrical fault. Smoke was detected in both the cabin and flight deck. Passengers evacuated the aircraft via slide. Nobody was hurt.

  • In October 1970. Comet G-APDL landed wheels up when crew were practicing a flapless landing at Newcastle. The crew omitted to carry out pre landing checks and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

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  • 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.

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  • 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. Captain Tony Kirk was in command. 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.

  • February 23rd 1978 a company HS 748's wingtip smashed the flight deck window of a French Caravelle and then hit another Dan Air HS 748 at Aberdeen. The two Dan Air arcraft were put out of operation and repairs carried out on site.

  • February 26th 1978 for the second time in three day Aberdeen aiport saw a Dan Air aircraft in trouble. A company HS748 made a full scale emergency landing at the airport with fire crews and ambulances in attendance. The airport praised the skill and professionalism of the crew who landed the aircraft without incident.

  • August 2nd 1979 a company HS 748 made an emergency landing at Glasgow airport.

  • In 1979 a company HS748 landed in Sumburgh, Scotland. The aircraft had come in a little too fast and was fast running out of space to stop on the icy runway. The crew decided to divert onto the grass. The propellor blades bucked and the front landing gear collapsed. Fire crews were on scene shortly afterwards. There was no evacuation of the aircraft.  Parts were flown into the island and a repair carried out on site. The aircraft returned to service.

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  • 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.

  • Ton Smulders writes: Having worked for DAN-AIR at Amsterdam as GSA from early 1982 until 1992 and having looked at you very nice website I have another non-fatal incident at Schiphol airport. The date was 26th June 1989. Flight was planned to depart around 11.00 hrs from Schiphol to Newcastle or Manchester (not quite sure). I had supervised the turnaround and when the aircraft was ready I headed back to the office. Upon returning to the tarmac to supervise the next flight I saw the same Bae146 G-BKHT still on the stand but with airbags to lift the nose from the ground. The pushback driver and captain apparently had a miscommunication as the driver started the pushback while the captain still had the breaks on. Result was that the nosewheel was pushed under the aircraft. All passengers had to disembark and during that day Dan-Air technicians flew into Schiphol. They managed to stabilize the nosewheel and fixed it. The aircraft was flown without passengers at low level keeping the undercarriage down back to London gatwcik for repair. Attached some of the pictures I took at the time.  
    Kind regards,
    Ton Smulders

All The Above Pictures, supplied by Ton Smulders can be enlarged.

  • 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.

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1 comment

Richard Maile
2019-04-25 16:39:56
I wondered if there was any record about the following flight? We were on a flight from Thessaloniki Greece to Gatwick. However, we stopped off at Athens for people to get off and on. The take off was very lumpy on take off and the plane flew at a unusual angle for time. We were told that we would need to land as there was a technical issue. Rimini weren’t able to accept us. We proceeded to Venice and given instructions for an emergency landing. The captain said that a tyre had burst on take off and believed rubber had had an impact on the plane’s hydraulic system. We were in the brace position and the landing was very rough. Emergency vehicles rode parallel to the aircraft and when the aircraft stopped they applied foam to the front of the vehicle. The front wheel and tyre was damaged and I remember the heat generated from the friction when we were landing. A very scary event. After about 12 hours we were flown on another Dan Air flight back to Gatwick. At one point we were put in a coach and driven to a nearby restaurant as Venice had no food. They didn’t bother about security or any checks!

Dan -Air DA 4379 25 September 1982. 04:10 Thessaloniki to Gatwick via Athens.

Best Regards

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