tirsdag 11. juli 2017

Alvorlig hendelse - Air Canada var nær ved å lande på taxiway i SFO - Curt Lewis

Air Canada flight nearly lands on crowded taxiway at San Francisco International Airport

An Air Canada plane landed without incident early Saturday morning at San Francisco International Airport after the jet nearly landed on a crowded taxiway. (Los Angeles Times)

An Air Canada plane touching down at San Francisco International Airport almost landed on a taxiway crowded with four other planes, a near-catastrophe that is now under federal investigation.

Air Canada flight 759 en route from Toronto was cleared to land just before midnight Friday at runway 28R, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

But the pilot had lined up the Airbus A320 for a taxiway that runs parallel to the runway, where four planes had queued and were awaiting clearance for departure, the FAA said.

It's unclear how close the Air Canada flight came to the ground, and the FAA is trying to ascertain that distance in an ongoing probe.

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Ross Aimer, a retired United Airlines captain, told the San Jose Mercury-News, which first reported the incident, that if the pilot was not told to correct course, the scene would have been "horrific."

"If it is true, what happened probably came close to the greatest aviation disaster in history," Aimer told the newspaper.

An Air Canada representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

Audio from the airport's traffic control tower, which was archived online and reviewed by The Times, reveals more of how the incident unfolded as the plane approached:

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.

The FAA said the air traffic controller told the Air Canada jet to circle around and make another approach.

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.

The aircraft then landed at the airport without incident at 12:11 a.m. Saturday, about 50 minutes later than scheduled, according to the online flight path.

image: Bay Area News Group

An Air Canada A320 crew mistakenly lined up to land on the parallel Taxiway C instead of Runway 28R last Friday at San Francisco International Airport, a mistake that was caught and corrected by air traffic controllers. The incident sparked widespread news reporting about the “near miss” that could have caused “the greatest aviation disaster in history.” The Mercury News, based in the Bay Area, broke the story on Monday. The story notes that “four airplanes full of passengers and fuel” were parked on the taxiway waiting to take off, and all of them could have been destroyed if the A320 had in fact tried to land there. Peter Fitzpatrick, an Air Canada spokesman, told The News that Flight AC759 from Toronto “landed normally without incident” after a go-around.
On the audio clip from atclive.net, the Air Canada pilot can be heard asking the tower why there are aircraft lights on the runway, and he is told there are no aircraft on the runway. Another unidentified voice then chimes in to say he’s lined up on the taxiway, and the controller tells him to go around. "If you could imagine an Airbus colliding with four passenger aircraft widebodies, full of fuel and passengers, then you can imagine how horrific this could have been," retired United Airlines Captain Ross Aimer, CEO of Aero Consulting Experts, told the Mercury News. "If it is true, what happened probably came close to the greatest aviation disaster in history.” The FAA is now investigating the incident, according to Reuters.

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