USA investigates Air Canada near miss that could have caused disaster

An Air Canada plane is seen at the San Francisco International Airport on Monday

An Air Canada flight attempting to land at San Francisco International Airport almost touched ground on a taxiway crowded with planes on Friday night, the FAA said in a statement.

The Air Canada Airbus A320 was cleared to land at a runway at San Francisco global airport on Friday and the pilot began descending toward one of the taxiways, where four aircraft were waiting to take off. Mistaking the airport's Taxiway C - which had four full wide-body aircraft on it waiting to take off - for runway 28R, the pilot can be heard asking air traffic control to confirm that he's cleared to land.

Safety experts said it is rare for planes to land on a taxiway instead of a runway, and when it happens it usually involves small planes at smaller airports.

"Air Canada flight AC759 from Toronto was preparing to land at San Francisco airport Friday night when the aircraft initiated a go-around", Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesperson with Air Canada said in an email. "The plane made another approach and landed without incident", the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

Aviation experts say the incident could've been close to disastrous. "An air traffic controller sent the Air Canada jet around".

"If it is true, what happened probably came close to the greatest aviation disaster in history", Ross Aimer, a retired United Airlines captain, told the Mercury News. He's told there are no other planes on the runway.

"Just want to confirm, this is Air Canada 759 we see some lights on the runway there".

Air Canada says it too is investigating the flight from Toronto, which had 135 passengers and five crew members. "There is no one on 28-Right but you".

Aimer added that the incident had become the talk of pilots everywhere.

This, the world's deadliest mid-air collision, occurred when the pilot of Kazakhstan Airlines Flight 1907 flew lower than he had clearance for.

Air Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment. "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". "We are still investigating the circumstances".

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