Air Canada Makes Another Mistake at SFO, FAA to Investigate

A view out towards SFO’s runways. Credit Mike Killian

Another potential catastrophe involving an Air Canada flight was avoided at San Francisco International Airport Sunday night.

"That's pretty evident", an air traffic controller told the crew before providing instructions on where to taxi. "Where is this guy going?" an unknown voice said on the air traffic control recording that day. The crew did not circle the airport - it simply landed on the original runway.

However, an air traffic controller then instructed the crew multiple times to "execute a go-around" because of uncertainty over whether the runway would be clear before the Air Canada flight arrived, Gregor said.

The air traffic controllers thought there was still another plane on the same runway.

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Cox said investigators will interview the crew and examine the radio of the Air Canada plane to determine what happened.

An air traffic controller repeats "Canada 781 go around" at least six times, which can be heard in a public radio transmission of the incident listened to by The Chronicle.

A supervisor then resorted to using a red light gun to alert the Air Canada flight to go around. Instead, the flight landed, as previously authorised, on runway 28R at 9:26 p.m. PDT (0626 GMT).

After the landing the Air Canada crew said they had a radio problem.

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The first incident, which occurred on July 7, could have been the worst aviation disaster in history, with four planes on the taxiway as the Air Canada flight almost landed right on top of them.

Nonetheless, the FAA is now investigating Sunday's breakdown in communication which is second risky incident involving an Air Canada flight at the same airport.

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

Representatives from Air Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Pilots told investigators "they did not recall seeing aircraft" on the taxiway but "something did not look right to them", a National Transportation Safety Board report stated.

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Yet another defensive holding call, this time on Murray, went the Raiders' way and we got one more untimed down. In the end, Carr completed 29 passes in 52 attempts, for incredible 417 yards, and three touchdown passes.

In the meantime, the FAA issued new guidelines for nighttime landings and control tower staffing at San Francisco's airport.

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