The startled pilots could even see each other as they made drastic swerves at 500mph.
The Manchester-bound Dan Air 727 was bringing home holidaymakers from Ibiza when it found itself on a collision course over mid-Wales.
Pilot Captain Simon Spence was forced to duck under the path of the British Midland 737 from Dublin to Heathrow.
Dougie and I were on that Dan Air flight, returning from our honeymoon in Formentera, a beautiful island south of Ibiza. It was quite an eventful honeymoon…
On the second day I ran into the bathroom on hearing my husband’s howls, to see a naked man crouched low in the bath wailing and swearing. He had been having a shower when his new wedding ring slipped off and disappeared down the plug-hole. Despite summoning a little man to poke about and check the drains, it was never recovered.
We made friends with two other couples and as a group trounced everyone at the champagne cocktail quiz afternoons as we were the only English-speakers taking part; the Germans weren’t as clued up on Top of the Pops as we were.
To top it all Dougie and I even won the cheesy Mr and Mrs contest, due to my new husband’s ability to do the can-can, with cartwheels, and his skill with the blind-folded “put straw into wife’s ring after being spun round a lot game” ( that’s not a euphemism: stop sniggering at the back!).
Then we came home. All I remember of the near-disaster on the plane was clonking my head on the seat in front as I had been rooting in the net bag looking for a book. Dougie recalls his stomach lurching then pointing out of the window saying, “F**k me, there’s a plane”.
After the plane dived the pilot, ever the professional, could be heard over the tannoy calmly reassuring the passengers in his wonderful, lilting pilot-speak. He apologised for the evasive action, explaining that unfortunately he had been put on a collision course with another plane. As you were. Pretty cool I thought.
There was much cheering on landing: for once, the applause was appropriate.