Near miss at San Francisco Airport could’ve been “the greatest disaster in aviation history”

This could've been very, very bad.

There was nearly a massive disaster at San Francisco International Airport just before midnight on Friday.

An Air Canada pilot was descending and about to land, when the pilot realized it nearly landed on the taxiway instead of the runway.

The result could’ve been horrific. The pilot corrected course and landed on the runway where he was supposed to. If the Air Canada flight landed on Taxiway C, which it nearly did, it would’ve run into four airplanes full of luggage, people, and a lot of gasoline.

According to The Mercury News, an aviation expert said if the collisions happened, it may have been “the greatest aviation disaster in history.”

“If it is true, what happened probably came close to the greatest aviation disaster in history,” retired United Airlines Captain Ross Aimer, CEO of Aero Consulting Experts, told The Mercury News.

“This is pretty huge. My buddies called and asked if I knew about it,” Captain Aimer added. “They’re a sitting duck on the taxiway. They can’t go anywhere.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident. According to the FAA, an air traffic controller helped prevent the incident by telling the Air Canada pilots to pull of a “go-around” where they pull-up before landing and circle around to land again.

The investigators at FAA are investigating a lot about the events that led up to the near disaster, including how close the plane was to crashing into the four airplanes on the taxiway.

“If you could imagine an Airbus colliding with four passenger aircraft wide bodies, full of fuel and passengers, then you can imagine how horrific this could have been,” Captain Aimer said.

Air Canada’s spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the pilots, which had been flying the plane from Toronto to San Francisco, “landed normally” after the “go-around.”

“We are still investigating the circumstances and therefore have no additional information to offer,” Fitzpatrick added.

Luckily at the end of the day the crisis was averted. Back in 2013 at SFO, a Boeing 777 crashed during landing, killing 2 and injuring many more.

[The Mercury News]

About David Lauterbach

David is a writer for The Comeback. He enjoyed two Men's Basketball Final Four trips for Syracuse before graduating in 2016. If The Office or Game of Thrones is on TV, David will be watching.