The US Federal Aviation Administration said on Tuesday that it is investigating an apparent near-miss at a San Francisco airport involving an Air Canada flight.
According to the agency, an Air Canada pilot lined up to land last week on a taxiway at San Francisco International Airport where four planes were waiting to depart, Reuters reports.
Flight AC759 from Toronto was cleared to land on a runway just before midnight on Friday, but the pilot “inadvertently” lined up for a crowded parallel taxiway, the FAA was quoted as saying in a statement.
According to an audio recording of the incident, a United Airlines pilot is heard saying that the Air Canada plane “flew directly over us,” alerting the air traffic controller that the plane was headed toward the taxiway.
The controller took charge, averting what could have been the worst aviation disaster since the collision of two B747 planes in 1977 in Tenerife in the Canary Islands, according to the report.
The Air Canada plane was estimated to have flown over the planes on the taxiway by as little as 100 feet, according to a preliminary summary published by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
Along with the FAA, the US National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.
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