Air Canada flight almost lands on crowded San Francisco taxiway

The taxiway runs parallel to the runway


An incident in which an Air Canada plane almost landed on a busy taxiway in San Francisco has been described as "very rare".

On 7 July, Flight AC759 from Toronto was cleared to land on a runway at San Francisco's airport, but the pilot instead lined up for a taxiway, which runs parallel to the runway, where four planes were waiting to depart.

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An air traffic controller spotted the problem and told the pilot to pull up and make another approach.

According to CNN, audio of the incident recorded air traffic control becoming aware of the problem.

Possibly referring to the aircraft lined up on the taxiway, the pilot said: "Just want to confirm, this is Air Canada 759 we see some lights on the runway there. Confirming good to land?"

"Air Canada 759 confirmed cleared to land runway 28 right," the control tower responded. "There is no one on 28-Right but you."

Another voice then says: "Where is this guy going? He's on the taxiway."

He's then told to make a go-around. It's estimated that the Air Canada plane overflew two aircraft on the taxiway by 100ft, the third by 200ft and fourth by 300ft, getting within 29ft laterally of the other planes.

In reference to Taxiway C, the controller says: "Air Canada 759, it looks like you were lined up for Charlie there."

According to the BBC, a spokesman for the airline said: "Air Canada flight AC759 from Toronto was preparing to land at San Francisco airport Friday night when the aircraft initiated a go-around.

"The aircraft landed normally without incident. We are still investigating the circumstances and therefore have no additional information to offer."

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the near-miss.

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