Air Canada plane avoids potential catastrophe at SFO after 'radio problem'

25 October, 2017, 01:15 | Author: Lora Ball
  • The FAA has launched an investigation into why an Air Canada jet ignored a San Francisco air traffic controller¿s repeated order to abort a landing on Sunday evening

The potential landing danger follows a close-call on July 7, which also involved an Air Canada jet at San Francisco International.

"Air Canada 781 go-around", an air traffic controller said six times, according to a radio recording posted by the San Jose Mercury News. The landing was uneventful but it seems the Air Canada crew did not reply to radio transmissions nor to a so-called "red-light gun" alert used to communicate with planes when the radio fails. The FAA said it is looking into the matter.

"Upon landing the crew was informed the tower had attempted unsuccessfully to contact the aircraft", Fitzpatrick said in an email to the Star.

The airport then then instructed the crew to execute a "go-around", since officials were unsure that another plane would be clear of the runway.

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.

At 9:26 p.m., the jet still ended up coming in for a landing, although the runway happened to be clear.

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In July, at the same San Francisco International Airport, an Air Canada jet almost landed on a taxiway where other planes were waiting to deport.

Crew acknowledged instructions that the plane was cleared for landing when it was six miles away, but said they had a radio problem after landing against the updated orders, FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor says Tuesday.

This is the second risky incident involving an Air Canada flight.

"A radar replay showed the preceding arrival was in fact clear of the runway when Air Canada landed", Gregor said. Federal investigators determined that pilot error caused the plane to arrive too low at the airport runway.

In July, another Air Canada plane almost landed on a crowded taxiway at San Francisco's airport. "Where is this guy going?" an unknown voice said on the air traffic control recording that day.

Representatives from Air Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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