An Air Canada flight attempting to land at San Francisco International Airport nearly touched ground on a taxiway crowded with planes on Friday night, the FAA said in a statement.
Air Canada Flight 759 was cleared to land on Runway 28R, but the pilot “inadvertently” lined up for Taxiway C, which runs parallel to the runway, according to the FAA. There were four aircraft lined up on Taxiway C at the time.
An air traffic controller sent the plane back around, and it successfully landed without incident on its second approach.
In audio of the incident, the Air Canada pilot spoke to the control tower to double-check its landing site.
“Just want to confirm, this is Air Canada 759 we see some lights on the runway there. Confirming good to land?” the pilot said.
“Air Canada 759 confirmed cleared to land runway 28 right,” the control tower responded. “There is no one on 28-Right but you.”
Shortly after, an unidentified voice can be heard questioning the flight landing: “Where is this guy going? He’s on the taxiway.”
The air traffic controller told the plane to “go around” and make another attempt at landing.
“Air Canada 759, it looks like you were lined up for Charlie there,” the controller said, an apparent reference to Taxiway C.
A United pilot on the taxiway then messaged to air traffic control: “Air Canada flew directly over us.”
“Yeah, I saw that guys,” the control tower responded.
The plane was an Airbus A320, which typically seats up to 150 passengers, according to the Airbus website.
A spokesman for Air Canada said it is still investigating the circumstances of the incident. A spokesman for the airport said there would be no further comment.
“We are aware of this incident and are in close contact with the FAA on this,” San Francisco International Airport spokesman Doug Yakel said. “As the investigation is still ongoing, we will not be making any additional statements on the incident at this time.”