Averting a near catastrophic situation, Air Canada Flight 759 which descended 100 feet above planes taxing next to the runway landed safely at San Francisco International Airport. According to photos released by federal investigators, the flight descended 100 feet above planes taxiing before pilots abandoned the landing.
On July 7, Air Canada Flight was cleared to land before midnight but the pilots landed on the adjacent taxiway, that runs parallel to the runway, USA Today reported. Four planes were already on the taxiway waiting to take off. According to investigators, just seconds before, the pilots advanced the plane’s thrusters when the flight was still 85 feet off the ground to abandon their landing for a safe touchdown. According to the flight data recorder, Air Canada plane was as low as 59 feet off the ground at its lowest point.
The investigators have not come to any conclusion yet and their investigation could continue for another year. After the incident both the pilots said that they believed that they were lined up for Runway 28R and don’t recall seeing aircraft on the taxiway which made them skeptical, according to National Transportation Safety Board report.
In case the planes had collided, this could have been one of the worst aviation disasters in history. The worst accident which took place in 1977 involved two Boeing 747 aircraft colliding with each other when one tried to take off in thick fog, killing 583.