LISTEN: Air Canada plane avoids potential catastrophe at SFO after ‘radio problem’

LONDON - JULY 31: An Air Canada passenger plane is shown in flight at Heathrow Airport July 31, 2002 in London, England. Passenger numbers have fallen since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. Airline companies have all suffered a difficult trading period. (Photo by John Li/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Another potential catastrophe involving an Air Canada flight was avoided at San Francisco International Airport Sunday night.

Air Canada flight 781, an Airbus A320, was headed to SFO Sunday night, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Air traffic control cleared the flight to land on Runway 28R.

The Air Canada crew acknowledged this instruction when they were about six miles away from the airport.

Shortly after, the Air Canada crew was told “multiple times” to take a go-around flight, due to concerns that another plane that arrived beforehand would still be on the runway.


Video courtesy of Sumeet Dogra

The Air Canada crew did not acknowledge any of these instructions.

A supervisor used a red light gun to alert the crew to go around. Flashing a light gun is standard protocol when an air crew is not responding to radio instructions.

At 9:26 p.m., the Air Canada jet landed anyways, without ever acknowledging air traffic control’s instructions.

Luckily, the plane that arrived before this flight, had cleared the runway in time and no one was hurt.

After the landing the Air Canada crew said they had a radio problem.

Air Canada released the following statement to KRON4:

Air Canada flight AC781, an Airbus A320 was travelling from Montreal to San Francisco on the evening of Oct. 22. After receiving proper clearance to land it proceeded to do so and landed normally. Upon landing the crew was informed the tower had attempted unsuccessfully to contact the aircraft, however the message was not received by the crew. Air Canada is investigating the circumstances.

The FAA is investigating the incident.

This is the second dangerous incident involving an Air Canada flight.

In July, an Air Canada plane almost landed on the taxiway instead of the runway at SFO.



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