Posted by on August 3, 2017 2:06 pm
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Categories: San Francisco + Peninsula

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(BANT) – An Air Canada flight that had a near-miss last month while landing at San Francisco International Airport got closer than previously thought when passing over another aircraft on an occupied taxiway, according to a report issued Wednesday by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

The incident occurred just before midnight July 7 when Flight AC759 lined up to land on Taxiway C, which was occupied by four other passenger aircrafts, rather than Runway 28R, where it had been cleared to land on.

The pilot noticed the problem, prepared to circle the airport and line up to land again, then adjusted the thrust levers to speed. At that time the plane was just 89 feet above the ground, but the plane’s lowest recorded altitude while passing over the occupied taxiway was just 59 feet above the ground, according to the NTSB.

An earlier, preliminary report from the Canadian National Transportation Safety Board found that the two planes got within 100 feet of each other.

The plane was flying to the right of the course it was supposed to be on, and for about 12 seconds it disappeared from the Airport Surface Detection Equipment/Airport Surface Surveillance Capability display.

The captain, who was flying at the time, had more than 20,000 total flight hours, including nearly 4,800 on that aircraft model. The first officer, who had roughly 10,000 flight hours and more than 2,300 on that aircraft model, was monitoring the landing.

So far, investigators have not determined a probable cause for the incident – meaning that it remains unclear exactly why this near miss occurred.

Audio from the plane’s cockpit voice recorder was not available, as it had been somehow overwritten, leaving investigators unable to access that data.

NTSB personnel still plan to go to Air Canada’s facilities in Toronto, where the flight crew from Flight AC759 is based, to review records and conduct interviews.