Re­port out on air­can near-hit

Jet just missed crash­ing into oth­ers in SFO

Edmonton Sun - - NEWS - David Koenig The Associated Press

Safety of­fi­cials say a near col­li­sion of air­lin­ers in San Fran­cisco last year was a few feet from be­com­ing the worst crash in avi­a­tion his­tory and un­der­scores the need for faster re­port­ing of dan­ger­ous in­ci­dents be­fore ev­i­dence is lost.

The Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board is­sued a fi­nal re­port Thurs­day on the in­ci­dent in which an Air Canada jet nearly crashed into planes lined up on the ground at San Fran­cisco In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

The pi­lots were slow to re­port the in­ci­dent to su­pe­ri­ors. By the time they did, the plane had made an­other flight and the cock­pit voice record­ing of the close call was recorded over.

The NTSB says the record­ing could have helped in­ves­ti­ga­tors un­der­stand why the Air Canada pi­lots missed the run­way and were about to land on a taxi­way where four other planes were idling be­fore they aborted their land­ing.

The Air Canada jet swooped to just 60 feet above the ground while pass­ing over other planes packed with pas­sen­gers wait­ing to take off shortly be­fore mid­night on July 7, 2017.

“Only a few feet of sep­a­ra­tion pre­vented this from pos­si­bly be­com­ing the worst avi­a­tion ac­ci­dent in his­tory,” NTSB Vice Chair­man Bruce Lands­berg said in a state­ment ac­com­pa­ny­ing the re­port.

The dead­li­est avi­a­tion ac­ci­dent oc­curred in 1977, when two Boe­ing 747 jets col­lided on a run­way in Tener­ife on the Ca­nary Is­lands, leav­ing 583 peo­ple dead.

The Air Canada cap­tain, iden­ti­fied in NTSB doc­u­ments as Dimitrios Kisses, was sup­posed to re­port the San Fran­cisco in­ci­dent to the air­line as soon as pos­si­ble but didn’t be­cause he was “very tired” and it was late.

He waited un­til the next day. By that time, the plane was used for an­other flight, and the au­dio loop on the cock­pit voice recorder was taped over.

Jeff Chiu/ap file

Avi­a­tion-safety of­fi­cials say a close call last year high­lights the need for faster re­port­ing of dan­ger­ous in­ci­dents be­fore ev­i­dence is lost.

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