NTSB Opens Docket for San Francisco International Airport Incident
May 06, 2018, 05:11
The National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday released more than 500 pages of investigative reports, including a video recording of the July 7 event, but didn't conclude what caused the airliner to come within feet of a catastrophe.
Both pilots on the flight were very experienced. But there was no response from the Air Canada cockpit.
According to the NTSB, the Air Canaada Airbus A-320 actually flew below 100 feet and the footage shows it just about missing the first plane in the queue - A United Airlines plane. The FAA blamed pilot error.
Air site visitors controller Brian Delucchi advised investigators that the flight path of the airplane seemed "extraordinarily unusual" earlier than he ordered the crew to abort its touchdown and circle the airport for an additional try.
The FAA report says "the Air Canada crew did not acknowledge any of the controller's instructions".
"If it is true, what happened probably came close to the greatest aviation disaster in history", Ross Aimer, the CEO of Aero Consulting Experts and former United Airlines Captain, told Mercury News after the near-miss. "We are talking over 1,500 casualties and five aircraft in flames".
Air traffic control had cleared the pilots for the landing, but they were lined up to land on a taxiway that had four jets full of passengers waiting to take off. Captain Dimitrios Kisses said he opted to go around because the airport was fairly dark and the runway "did not look good" on approach, according to the NTSB investigation documents released Wednesday.
The 42-year-old first officer said they both began to feel exhausted with about an hour before arrival at SFO. The incident "resulted in several actions" that were not specified in the report.
"Upon landing the crew was informed the tower had attempted unsuccessfully to contact the aircraft, however, the message was not received by the crew". The flight crew of the flight that landed on Runway 28R four minutes before the Air Canada flight, reported to investigators the "construction lights were so bright we could not determine the location of the inboard runway, 28L", according to the report. Within the video, the Air Canada plane's touchdown lights may be seen illuminating one of many 4 planes on the taxiway under, demonstrating how shut the incident got here to changing into a serious aviation catastrophe.
Longtime American Airlines pilot Chris Manno said the runways at the airport require pilots to be "on top of your game" when landing. The FAA's statement to Newsweek said San Francisco International Airport modified its ground radar system to "identify potential conflicts when aircraft are 3/4-mile from the airport". The Boeing 777 was carrying 307 people and one of the deaths was a 16-year-old Chinese girl who was run over by a fire truck racing to the scene.
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