This is an extraordinary story that could have ended in disaster. It makes me wonder how often these narrow misses happen. An Air Canada flight was getting ready to land at San Francisco International Airport, and coordinated landing, as pilots do, with the air traffic controller.
Air Canada Pilot: “Just want to confirm, this is Air Canada 759 we see some lights on the runway there. Confirming good to land?”
Control Tower: “Air Canada 759 confirmed cleared to land runway 28 right. There is no one on 28-Right but you.”
When you keep listening, or watch the animation below, you can see there is clearly some communication issues. It’s pretty clear that they are not talking about the same area. I won’t speculate as to who is in the right and who is in the wrong as I’m not a pilot, nor have I ever played one on TV.
What seems to be the consensus, is that this could have easily been one of the greatest disasters in aviation history. The plane landed safely after a second approach, and the investigation is ongoing. Unfortunately, I will think about this story next time I get on a plane, but I will eventually rest easy knowing that there won’t be a lot I can do to control the situation if something like this happens.
The FAA is investigating a close call at San Francisco Int’l where an Air Canada flight nearly landed on a taxiway filled w/ passenger jets. pic.twitter.com/A8mxz6fDEt
— TODAY Graphics (@TODAYGraphics) July 11, 2017
— CBCcameraman (@CBCcameraman) July 11, 2017
— Matthias Gafni (@mgafni) July 11, 2017