Monday 24 July 2017

'Worst air disaster in history' narrowly averted on runway

San Francisco International Airport. Photo: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
San Francisco International Airport. Photo: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Hugh Morris Toronto

One of the "worst aviation disasters in history" was averted when an Air Canada plane was prevented at the last minute from landing on four aircraft on a busy taxiway.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating after one of the carrier's Airbus A320s arriving at night at San Francisco from Toronto was preparing to land on a runway, only for the air traffic control tower to order the pilot to pull up after becoming aware of four aircraft lined up on the tarmac waiting to depart.

It is estimated the plane abandoned the landing at 400 feet, missing two aircraft on the ground by about 100 feet.

The FAA said Flight AC759 was cleared to land on a runway, but the pilot "inadvertently" navigated towards a parallel taxiway. It said the July 7 incident was "very rare".

Irish Independent

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