Safety board issues final report in 2017 Air Canada near-collision
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 on 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.
NSB board member, Earl We ener, said the Air Canada plane came within feet of hitting another plane and colliding with several others.
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 NTSB is considering recommending that cockpit recorders capture the last 25 hours of flying time, up from two hours under current rules. Board member Mr. Weener also criticized the airline industry’s reliance on self-reporting of safety issues.
Air Canada told the NTSB it has taken steps to increase safety since the event, including emphasizing proper procedures for landing approaches.
The NTSB recommended development of technology to better warn pilots and air-traffic controllers when a plane appears to be off-course for a runway.