On Friday night, something freaky and very almost catastrophic happened: an Air Canada flight, descending into San Francisco International Airport, tried to land on the taxiway instead of on the runway, where four other fully loaded planes Saturday.
The FAA is investigating how close the Air Canada plane came to the four planes on the taxiway.
An audio recording from the air traffic control tower reveals that the pilot realized something was amiss upon seeing "lights on the runway", and asked for clarification on whether or not he was clear to land.
An air traffic controller signaled the plane for another approach, and landed without incident, the FAA said.
Air Canada Flight 759, which had taken off from Toronto in Canada was about to land on a parallel taxiway instead of the runway.
"If you can imagine an Airbus colliding with four aircraft full of fuel and passengers, you can imagine how this would have been horrifying", he added. There is no one on 28R but you.
Details are emerging about an apparent near-miss at San Francisco International Airport on Friday, in which a flight arriving from Toronto reportedly mistook a taxiway for a runway.
Captain Aimer said that if the tower hadn't been able to swiftly redirect the Air Canada plane, disaster would have followed.
"Where's this guy going?" another voice interjects. The ATC informed the pilot that the runway was clear and that he was clear to land.
In June, US President Donald Trump announced his ambition to upgrade air traffic control which relies on radar and radio technology.
In a statement, an Air Canada spokesperson said they are also investigating. He said he's been contacted by pilots from across the country about the incident.
Soon after, at 0.46, a United pilot states that "Air Canada flew directly over us" on the taxiway.
Controllers ordered the A320's pilots to go around, and the aircraft later landed safety. We are still investigating the circumstances and there is no additional information to offer.
Currently, the U.S. government is exploring ways to "modernize" air traffic control in airports around the country.