Pilots Still Struggle to Land Planes at SFO

An Aeromexico flight on Tuesday was the latest to plane to nearly experience a landing mishap.

An airplane nearly landed on the wrong runway at San Francisco International Airport on Tuesday, the third incident since July.

When Aeromexico Flight 668 was about one mile from the airport on Tuesday, air traffic controllers noticed that it was lined up to land where a Virgin America plane was about to depart, Bay City News reports. It had been cleared to land on one runway at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday and even read back the correct information.

Fortunately, Aeromexico pilots heeded instructions to fly around one more time and no one was hurt. But this week’s incident marks the third time since July that something similar has happened.

In July 2017, Air Canada Flight AC759 was on track to land on a taxiway where four other planes were waiting to take off, rather than its cleared runway. Within 59 feet of the runway, the pilot noticed the issue and circled around.

Plus, for 12 seconds it has disappeared from SFO’s detection display. Investigators have since said that the pilot and first officer of the flight had thousands of hours of experience with that model.

Another Air Canada flight missed commands in October, ultimately landing on the runway regardless of the air traffic controllers attempts to have the plane circle around over. Traffic controllers weren’t certain the runway would be clear in time but the flight crew indicated it might be a radio problem.

While the Aeromexico flight is under investigation, flyers can take the time to appreciate the times when their planes didn’t potentially cause a shocking crash.


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