Another potential catastrophe involving an Air Canada flight was avoided at San Francisco International Airport Sunday night.
In an audio recording, you can hear air traffic control tell the pilots to "go around" five times within 30 seconds, but the pilots never acknowledged the order.
Gregor said a supervisor tried to alert Sunday's flight by using a red light gun to alert the plane to go around, as is standard practice when an air crew is not responding to radio instructions. They eventually landed safely, but the FAA reportedly opened an investigation to determine how close flight AC759 came to crashing into the other airplanes.
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Air traffic control at SFO had instructed the Air Canada crew multiple times to execute a go-around because the controller was not certain that a preceding arrival would be completely clear of the runway before the jet was due to land, said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.
This weekend's incident comes not long after an Air Canada flight on the same runway came within 100 feet of smashing into two planes waiting to leave.
Air Canada is investigating the incident, airline spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said.
Flight 781 landed shortly before 9:30pm local time, and fortunately, the plane on the ground was able to move in time, avoiding what could have been a disaster. According to the FAA, four full planes were lined up and awaiting approval to take off. Federal investigators determined that pilot error caused the plane to arrive too low at the airport runway.
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One of the planes queued up on the taxiway turned on its lights as the crew saw the Air Canada jet draw near. "He's on the taxiway!"
The air traffic controllers thought there was still another plane on the same runway.
It follows an incident on July 7 at SFO when an Air Canada jet nearly struck planes on the ground after it lined up wrongly to land.
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