The Canadian National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report finding that Air Canada Flight AC759 flew just 100 feet over another aircraft in a near-miss incident Friday night at San Francisco International Airport.
The flight from Toronto was cleared to land on Runway 28R just before midnight, but the pilot inadvertently prepared to land on Taxiway C, which runs parallel to the runway, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
However, there were four other planes in the way.
The Canadian NTSB’s report found that just over half a nautical mile from the runway’s threshold, the flight crew asked air traffic control to confirm their landing clearance because they could see lights that weren’t supposed to be there. Another flight crew on Taxiway C also inquired about where AC759 was landing.
After the pilot had flown over roughly a quarter-mile of the runway, air traffic control instructed them to circle around and make another pass at landing, which worked out without incident, the report said.
At one point, however, AC759 was just 100 feet above another plane, according to the Canadian NTSB.
AC759 was an Airbus A320 with 135 passengers and five crewmembers on board at the time, according to Air Canada.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has not yet issued a report on the incident.
NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said Thursday:
“We’re still very early in our investigation. … We just got involved a few days ago. … We’re going to, at some point, send a couple investigators to the area to collect information, probably speak with air traffic controllers as well as the flight crew, but there’s no specific date on that.”
Doug Yakel, a spokesman for SFO, declined to comment on the incident.