Aeroméxico plane nearly lands on wrong runway in third close call for SFO in six months

(CBS) – The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into another close call at one of the nation’s busiest airports. The pilots of an Aeroméxico flight lined up for landing Tuesday on the wrong runway at San Francisco International Airport. The plane was just hundreds of feet from landing on top of another commercial airliner.

This is the third time in six months that something like this has happened at SFO, reports CBS News’ Kris Van Cleave. The FAA wants to know how this keeps happening in San Francisco. The plane was less than a mile away when it was told to “go around.”

Despite the Aeroméxico pilot confirming the tower’s direction to land on runway 28 right,  The Boeing 737  lined up for the parallel runway 28 left, which was already occupied by a Virgin America flight waiting for takeoff.

Flight tracking site FlightAware listed the altitude of the Aeroméxico jet as low as 600 feet – before controllers stepped in and told the pilot to “go around.” The flight landed safely on its second approach, but this is the third known apparent close call on a runway at SFO since July.

Last July, an Air Canada jet flew as low as 59 feet over four other planes awaiting takeoff. The Air Canada pilots mistook the taxiway for the runway next to it.

And in October an Air Canada flight Air Canada landing in San Francisco prompts another FAA probe to abort its landing.

That crew said they did not hear the calls because of a radio problem.The NTSB is investigating the July incident and the FAA will look into the one on Tuesday. The FAA has also changed rules over the summer for night-time landings and staffing at the airport’s control tower.

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