The FAA is investigating an incident that occurred at San Francisco International Airport over the weekend in which an Air Canada flight nearly crashed into a taxiway full of other aircraft.
Air Canada flight 759 was inbound from Toronto and was set to land on runway 28R a bit after 11 p.m. Friday. However, the pilot accidentally lined up for a taxiway that ran parallel with runway 28R. The taxiway had four other planes lined up, waiting for clearance for departure.
Ultimately, the Air Canada pilot noticed something was wrong.
A portion of the communication with air traffic control has been transcribed below.
Air Canada pilot: Tower Air Canada 759 I can see lights on the runway there. Can you confirm we’re clear to land?
Control tower: Air Canada 759 confirmed cleared to land on 28-right. There is no one on 28-right but you.
Air Canada pilot: OK, Air Canada 759
Unknown: Where is this guy going? He’s on the taxiway!
Control tower: Air Canada, go around.
Air Canada pilot: Going around. Air Canada 759.
Control tower: Air Canada, it looks like you were lined up for Charlie there. Fly heading 280. Climb maintain 3,000.
Air Canada pilot: Heading 2-8-0. 3,000. Air Canada 759.
United pilot: United One, Air Canada flew directly over us.
Control tower: Yeah, I saw that guys.
Listen to the full air traffic control audio of the incident here.
The plane finally landed at 12:11 a.m. Saturday, almost a full hour later than scheduled.
Ross Aimer is a retired United Airlines captain.
He said, "If it is true, what happened probably came close to the greatest aviation disaster in history."
Read the full story at Los Angeles Times