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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OMG. Information I haven't heard before about last year's incident in which an Air Canada flight landing at San Francisco mistakenly lined up to land on the taxiway (where four jets were waiting) instead of the runway.

Video shows how close Air Canada flight came to landing on taxiing planes - CNN

NTSB data revealed that as the Air Canada plane overflew the first waiting aircraft on the taxiway -- a United Airlines Boeing 787 -- the crew applied full power to the engines to initiate a go-around and abort its landing. However, the plane continued to descend while waiting for the throttle to respond and at its lowest point was only 59 feet above the ground. For comparison, the height of a Boeing 787 tail is 56 feet.
 

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a few tweaks to the auto-land functionality and this sort of thing will be a thing of the past.
Would it have been the worst in history?
I dunno...considering all the emergency crew at the airport, proximity to medical facilities etc I think theyd at least have a fighting chance, unlike crashing into a mountain, ocean, remote field or blowing up at 20,000 feet. If I had to pick where to be in an airliner accident, on the ground at the airport would be first choice.

while on the topic of airplanes, heres a couple of interesting things I was reading this week:
Plane Exhaust Kills More People Than Plane Crashes Not sure if we should feel good or bad about this.
31 Weird Things You Never Knew About Flying
 

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That AC jet would have crashed into 4 jets waiting to take off and assuming all 5 jets were at or close to capacity, casualties would have been enormous. Causality count would have been in excess of 1000 which is almost double the casualty count of the accident that took place at Tenerife back in 1977 which killed 583 when two 747's crashed into each other on the runway.

TD

Below is actual video of the incident.

More details emerge from close call for 2017 Air Canada flight in San Francisco | CBC News
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
a few tweaks to the auto-land functionality and this sort of thing will be a thing of the past.
Would it have been the worst in history?
I dunno...considering all the emergency crew at the airport, proximity to medical facilities etc I think theyd at least have a fighting chance, unlike crashing into a mountain, ocean, remote field or blowing up at 20,000 feet. If I had to pick where to be in an airliner accident, on the ground at the airport would be first choice.<snip>
Re: "tweaking" the auto-land functionality, the article describes a brief (12-second) failure in one of the systems that should have made this less of a close call but pilot error certainly seems to be among the causes. Further, the 12-second failure underscores the fallibility of systems and of people using them.

Re: a ground crash not being so deadly, I believe (without checking) that the collision of two 747s at Tenerife is still the most deadly aircraft accident in history. It occurred on the runway. This one would have involved at least four planes (three on the ground and the one in the air) and possibly all four on the ground for a total of five aircraft. So it's a reasonable speculation that it could have been the worst accident in history. It's not my speculation though, it's from unidentified "experts" reported in something I read about it.
 

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It would definitely be the worse. Those 4 planes on the ground were all full with fuel waiting for take off. And aircraft plunging into that "duck row" at landing speed, that would be carnage and horrendous tragedy. Luckily so luckily it was avoided.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
CBC reports that pilot error has been responsible for three of five close calls at San Francisco airport in less than two years. Another of the three incidents also involved Air Canada.

On Oct. 22, 2017, another 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 FAA report says "the Air Canada crew did not acknowledge any of the controller's instructions. A supervisor then used a red light gun to alert the crew to go around" until the other plane was off the runway.

The report also says that the co-pilot of AC Flight 759 that nearly landed on four planes on a taxiway has twice failed to earn a captain's position because instructors said he made imprecise approaches before landings and seemed to lack understanding of situations and surroundings. :eek:

More details emerge from close call for 2017 Air Canada flight in San Francisco | CBC News
 
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