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.

  • In 1974 a Dan-Air Boeing 727 took off from manchester bound for Spain two engine cowlings fell off and landed on a golf course in Congleton just outside of Manchester. The cowlings were six foot long and two food wide each. No-one was injured. The aircraft flew to Manchester for repairs. Passengers boarded a replacement aircraft and were shortly on their way.

  • In July, a company Boeing  707 took off from Toronto, Canada on its return flight to England, when the jet reached 16,000 feet one of the engines caught fire. After stopping the fire, the airliner had to circle for three hours, dumping fuel into Lake Ontario. Subsequently, the aircraft's cooling equipment and lights were not working. Cabin crew brought wet towels to children to wrap around them in an effort to keep them cool. Several women fainted and one woman collapsed in the heat. Local radio reported the aircraft circling at night, which was uncommon as the airport was closed at night. Several pieces of wreckage were also found the next day. Captain Keith Moody brought the aircraft down safely, where it was met by fifteen emergency vehicles. The passengers rested overnight and were brought back to the UK the next day on an alternative Boeing 707.

  • In 1974 a hoax caller called Dan Air Engineering at Lasham and claimed there was a bomb on board one of the aircraft parked there for maintainance. The call came at 12 noon and included a threat that the bomb would detonate within three hours. The police were called and attended the scene with RAF bomb disposal teams. All aircraft at Lasham were searched and no bomb was located.

  • January 13th 1977 a Dan-Air HS 748 slid off the end of the runway at Sumburgh. The weather was described as "Vile" Temporary repairs were carried out at the airport. It flew to Manchester for overhaul and re entered service shortly afterwards

  • 16th May 1977 saw a Dan-Air BAC 1-11 involved in a near miss with a glider over Weston Super Mare. The glider was without radio capability and had strayed closely into the pre planned flight path of the Dan- Air jet. Action was taken by pilots to avoid a mid air collision. The aircraft was on a return flight from Ibiza with 82 passengers and six crew.

  • 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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  • December 1980 saw a Dan-Air Hawker Siddeley 748 slide off the runway at Aberdeen as it prepared to take off. the aircraft was carrying one passenger. There had been heavy snowfall and snow had covered the side lights of the runway. The pilot was taxying past two parked aircraft when he steered to avoid them. In doing so the port wheels slid the side of the runway. The aircraft was stuck in the grass for quite some time while the ruway was cleared of snow. The flight was abandoned. The sole passenger was accomodated on an alternative flight.

  • March 1982 A Dan-air Hawker Siddeley 748 which had just taken off from Leeds/Bradford Airport was faced with two Dutch Airforce jet fighters that were flying directly toward it. The military pilots both took evasive action and flew over the top of the prop liner. None of the passengers were aware of what had happened. Dan-Air reported the near miss ad an investigation was carried out. The findings showed that the military aircraft had inadvertantly flown into a civilian flight path.  A Dan-Air spokesman said at the time "The incident was over in a flash. The jets flew over the top of our aircraft - it was a little too close for comfort." Former Prime Minister Edward Heath was on board the flight which was bound for Bristol.

  • July 1982 saw a Boeing 727 at gatwick had its engine torn off by a lorry that was being towed. The lorry collided with the jet which was parked at a gate.

  • September 1982 saw high drama at Leeds Bradford. The airport was in the process of extending its runway. Several group had objected to the plans and carried out their protests at the airport. On Sunday 12th September a Dan-Air HS748 carrying 44 passengers took off on a flight bound for Jersey. Shortly after take off the aircraft was hi by a 'missile' possibly a steel bolt. It hit a propeller which was badly damaged It then penetrated the wing and ripped part of the fuselage. The twin engined aircraft was able to continue its journey, landing at Jersey where it was taken out of service for repairs and investigaion by the police. the aaircraft had reached 100 feet in altitude when the incedent occured. Police later interviewed Captain Peter Gordon and First Officer Christopher Birch at Leeds.

  • 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.

  • On November 22nd 1982 a Dan-Air HS748 took off from Aberdeen for Munster in Germany. As the aircraft climbed to its cruising altitude an oil pressure warning indicator sounded. The Captain made the correct decision in closing the engine down and diverting to Newcastle. The flight deck announced a full emergency landing. The aircraft landed successfully. The passengers were put up in a local hotel as a replacement aircraft was unavailable. The 748 was repaired and flew to its destination the next morning. Dan-Air said "The flight crew acted in the correct manner. They were never in any danger ad what happened was simply routine."

  • 13th December 1982 saw 82 passengers forced to stay overnight at the Newcastle Airport Hotel. The BAC 1-11 from London to Abderdeen via Newcastle was cancelled when the aircraft passed over black ice. This caused the jet to slide out of control for 100 feet. It slid off the runway and into a grass verge. The jet liner's nose was stuck in mud After minor repairs the aircraft flew to its destination the following day.

  • In August 1983 a Dan-Air BAC 1-11 had to overshoot the runway as it was about to land at Aberdeen. A pegasus light aircraft was inadvertantly discovered by the tower on the runway. The 1-11 pilot overshot the runway in accordance to standard proceedure follwing instructions from the tower. An investigation was launched.

  • August 1983 A Dan-Air Boeing 737 with 131 passengers and 6 crew on board was on a final approach to Newcastle when the pilot noticed what he thought to be an emergency vehicle on the runway. He contacted air traffic control who told him to abort his landing which was now on finals. The aircraft gained altitude and banked away before coming in to land successfully a second time. The vehicle was then identified as being a contractors truck. A report was sent to the CAA.

  • August 5th 1983 saw a Dan-Air Voeing 737 depart from Newcastle bound for Ibiza be diverted to Gatwick. Upon take off part of the wheel of the front undercarriage was lost. The aircraft landed  safely at Gatwick where repairs were carried out.

  • March 2nd 1983 A BAC 1-11 burst its tyre upon landing at Inverness following a flight from London. The airline blamed the incident on bad weather with hugh winds in Scotland. No one was injured on the flight with 31 passengers.

  • January 7th 1985 - A Dan Air BAC 1-11 was almost on the ground when it was forced to overshoot the runway at Aberdeen. The pilot was told to abort the landing at the last moment. The jet had been delayed for one hour thrity minutes due to bad weather. The delay put the aircraft outside Aberdeen's opening times. The reason being that noise had to be avoided after certain times. Dan Air late said "The noise the aircraft would have made when going back into full power to take off again would have been far greater than the noise of the landing."

  • 13th March 1985 - A BAe 146 en route from Newcastle to Stavanger had to return to Newcastle 150 miles out over the North Sea. The pilot was transferring fuel from one tank to another when the fuel gauge told him that he was running out of fuel. The emergency services were quickly scrambled, including an RAF Nimrod, three life boats, and five helicopters. The pilot carried out an emergency landing. An internal investigation found that there was a fault on the gauge.

  • Upon completing a 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.

  • April 1986 - A Dan Air BAC 1-11 travelling to Gatwick was about to start taxying after carrying out safety demonstrations. The pilot, Capt Brian Maher instructed crew over the PA to evacuate the aircraft. All 49 passengers evacuated by the rear door and emergency slides. It transpired that there had simply been a light that had malfunctioned in the flight deck.

  • November 1986 saw a Dan Air HS748 return to Aberdeen ten minutes after take off when one engine failed. The aircraft landed safely and was repaired.

  • August 5th 1987. A Dan Air BAe146 with 58 passengers was involved in a near miss with a Britannia Airways Boeing 737. The Dan Air jet was on a scheduled service from Aberdeen to London. It was flying along it's alloted course. The Britannia Airways 737 returning from tenerife was not showing on the radar. This was down to an issue with the 737. The Dan Air pilot took steps when it spotted the 737.

  • 14th May 1988 A Dan Air BAe146 on final approach after being given clearance to land at Dublin. Air Traffic Control had instructed an Aer Lingus Shorts 330 to vacate the runway.  The Dan Air aircraft contunued on finals whilst ATC told the 330 four times to leave. It finally left the runway as the Dan Air aircraft touched down.

  • 8th August 1988 saw a near air miss over Farnborough involving a Dan Air Boeing 737 en route to Alicante and an Air UK BAe146 bound for Jersey.

  • 11th August 1988 An RAF provost aircraft on a training excercise flew 'much too close' to a Dan Air BAC 1-11 on TWO occasions in the same day. The 1-11 was landing at Aberdeen when the RAF jet was just 1000 above the runway. As the aircraft then departed, just six miles from the runway the RAF jet flew in front of the 1-11. Dan Air denied initially that there had been any near miss but later clarified. The RAF said they had the 1-11 in full sight at all times. They said there was between 50-60 such incidents a year.

  • April 1989 saw a major incident with A Dan-Air Boeing 727. Dan-Air made an official complaint to Spanish Air Traffic Controllers. The Bowing 727 was carrying 162 passengers home from Malaga when they had to dive 2000 feet after a large ariner had flashed above them. The aircraft, a Tristar owned by German carrier LTU was carrying 350 when the air miss occured, 80 miles north of Madrid. Dan Air said "The Boeing 727 was under Spanish Radar control when the pilot, Captain charles Nash received a 'garbled message' from Air traffic Control. The pilot later told passenger that he had been instructed to dive from the normal cruisinng alitude in the area of 35,000 feet to 33,000 feet. dan Air later stated that the German owned aircraft had come as close as 300 feet to the Dan Air jet.

  • May 9th 1989 - A Dan-Air BAC 1-11 flying from Gatwick to Manchester reported an engine vibrating heavily. Passengers could feel it. The engine closed down and the aircraft landed safely.

  • 12th July 1989 saw two Dan-Air BAC 1-11s invlolved in an air miss at 10,000 over Jersey. The two aircraft came within half a nautical mile of each other. Dan Air wrote to the Secretary Of State - Paul Channon to voice its concerns.

  • 11th May 1990 Captain Bob Dearling took evasive action and nose dived his HS 748 over Germany to avaid a head on collision with an American jet fighter. The company made  a report and submitted it to the German Authorities. The flight was on scheduled service from West Berline to Saarbrucken. Seraral passengers were injured as they were thrown out of their seats. The pilot was praised for his quick evasive action.

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  • 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

  • June 23rd 1990 A Dan Air BAC 1-11 was involved in a mid air near miss with a British Airways Boeing 747. Both pilots had seen each other and took evasive action

  • June 24th 1990 A Dan-Air Boeig 727 en route to Manchester from Ibiza narrowly missed collidinng with a British Midland Airways Boeing 737 over Wales at 28,000 feet. The Dan Air pilot spotted the BMA Boeinng and made an emercendy dive. Both aircraft were under the control of London Air Traffic Control and both were on the correct flight paths that ATC had instructed them. An investigation was launched by the CAA.

  • 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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Steve Baldwin
Saturday 10 Feb 2024
A missed incident from July 1976, flying a DA707 from Chicago O'Hare to Gatwick, large bang from engine 2 on rotation, plane climbed and small fire in engine 2, flight continued for approx half an hour when 2nd fire in engine 1, plane was diverted to Logan Int'l in Boston, where we spent 3 days in hotel waiting for a.replacement engine from.the UK, plane finally repaired and we returned to LGW. I was 11 at the time and was somewhat naive, thinking this was exciting! This was reported in the UK press, Daily Mail I believe, still remember to this day
Richard Maile
Sunday 24 Sep 2023
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 a long 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.
Alex Rodger
Sunday 22 Jan 2023
I have just sent newspapers cutting`s to the Administrator ref the Saarbrücken incident, most of them in German. One in English.
David Greer
Friday 30 Oct 2020
Missing on the list: May 1990 HS748 G-ATMI had a near miss enroute from Berlin-Tegel to Saarbrücken/Germany west of Frankfurt/Main with an F-15C of the USAF out of Bitburg AB, Germany. Crew and Pax unharmed.

The pic of the 727 collding with the jetbridge occured in late septmber 1988 (it was a friday) whan 727 G-BKAG was taxiing under own power from the hangar area to position 1 (Mechanic Günther at the controlls) at Berlin Tegel. Ground staff of Dan Air operating the Jetbridge (Bettina?) got a shock. overwise nobody was hurt.
Richard Maile
Thursday 25 Apr 2019
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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