A new video released as part of a National Transportation Safety Board's open docket showed how close an Air Canada plane came to nearly hitting planes waiting for take-off at the San Francisco International Airport last July.
The incident was one of the several close-calls involving aircraft reported in the past 16 months at SFO. The Federal Aviation Administration said most of the incidents were due to pilot error.
An Air Canada pilot said he aborted a landing at San Francisco International Airport before hearing from the control tower because "things were not adding up'' when the jet nearly landed on a taxiway occupied by four other planes in July.[[434156983, C]]
Capt. Dimitrios Kisses said the airport was dark and the runway "did not look good'' when he opted to go around, the NTSB's document on the investigation released Wednesday said. It also noted that both pilots reported being tired.
Air traffic controller Brian Delucchi said the flight path of the plane looked "extremely strange,'' and he ordered the plane to go around.
The airport, which many pilots say is notoriously difficult for landings, has been under more scrutiny since the Air Canada incident.
A spokesman for the airport said several safety improvements have been made since December 2016, when another plane almost entered a busy runway.[[481526241, C]]
More lights have been added to the runways; a confusing taxiway has been closed; and a ground radar system has been reinforced to give pilots a greater level of precision when landing, Airport spokesman Doug Yakel said Wednesday.
Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration re-certified the airport after an in-depth review of its operations.
JAN. 9: An Aeromexico passenger jet was ordered to abort a landing as it descended toward a runway occupied by another commercial jet.
The FAA determined the mistake was pilot error and said Aeromexico provided more training to its pilots for flying into San Francisco and distributed a safety alert to its pilots about the incident.
Oct. 22, 2017: An Air Canada flight was cleared to land but a tower controller then instructed the crew multiple times to circle because he was not certain that a preceding arrival would be clear of the runway.
The Air Canada crew did not acknowledge the controller's instructions. The FAA's investigation found the crew inadvertently switched from the San Francisco tower frequency to a ground frequency after receiving landing clearance.
Feb. 15, 2017: A traffic controller mistakenly cleared a Compass passenger jet lo land on a runway where a Virgin America plane was waiting for take-off, the FAA determined.
Dec. 14, 2016: A SkyWest pilot was given taxiing instructions and correctly read them back but then turned onto the wrong taxiway. The aircraft stopped 65 feet from the runway edge, where a United Airlines Boeing 737 was taking off.