Another close call at airport

Jeannie Matthews
January 13, 2018

An airplane almost landed on the wrong runway at San Francisco International Airport on Tuesday, the third incident since July.

Clearance was provided for Aeromexico Flight 668 on SFO Airport's Runway 28R, but for reasons not known, the aircraft's pilots aligned the plane with Runway 28L, located next to the originally assigned runway, ABC 7 News reported. At the same time, a Virgin America Airbus A320 was stopped on Runway 28L awaiting take-off to Kona, Hawaii, according to the FAA.

In July 2017, Air Canada Flight AC759 was on track to land on a taxiway where four other planes were waiting to take off, rather than its cleared runway.

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Air traffic controllers instructed the Aeromexico flight's crew to go around again, Gregor said. The flight aborted the landing upon receiving these orders only one mile from the airport.

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Plus, for 12 seconds it has disappeared from SFO's detection display.

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Then on October 22, Air Canada Flight AC781 from Montreal landed despite attempts from air traffic controllers to get the pilot to circle around the airport due to uncertainty over whether the runway would be clear by the time they touched down. Tuesday's incident follows a near mishap in July 2017 when an Air Canada flight from Toronto nearly landed on a taxiway at SFO that was crowded with planes.

Separately, the FAA is investigating an incident last month in which another Air Canada crew ignored or did not receive instructions from the tower to abort a landing. FAA officials are now investigating the incident, Gregor said.

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