Air Canada near-miss could have been 'greatest aviation disaster in history'

Posted July 12, 2017

Passengers of an Air Canada flight and four other airplanes waiting to take off had a very close shave when the Air Canada flight nearly landed on the four passenger airplanes waiting to take off on July 7th at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in San Francisco, California.

The FAA, which described the incident as "very rare", is now investigating how close the Air Canada plane came to the four other jets sitting on the taxiway at the time. The taxiway runs parallel to the runway.

"Air Canada flight AC759 from Toronto was preparing to land at San Francisco airport Friday night when the aircraft initiated a go-around", Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesperson with Air Canada said in an email.

An air traffic controller sent the plane back around, and it successfully landed without incident on its second approach.

Aviation experts say the incident could've been close to disastrous.

"The FAA is investigating the distance between the Air Canada aircraft and the jets that were lined up on taxiway C", the agency says.

In the audio, which was archived on LifeATC.net, the Air Canada pilot can be heard asking SFO control if he's heading towards the right runway.

Tower quickly tells the plane to "go around" and it peels off, narrowly avoiding a massive collision.

Thankfully, after the go-around, the Air Canada flight was able to land where it was supposed to successfully, despite TRYING TO LAND ON THE TAXIWAY MOMENTS BEFORE. "We are still investigating the circumstances".

"Yeah, I saw that, guys", the air traffic controller responded.

One of the air traffic controllers replies that there are no other planes there.

"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.

"Just want to confirm, this is Air Canada 759 we see some lights on the runway there".

A United Airlines pilot then messages the control tower saying: "United One, Air Canada flew directly over us".