SAN FRANCISCO (Allie Rasmus/KTVU) - The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating an incident at San Francisco International Airport over the weekend when an Air Canada pilot failed to respond to instructions from the control tower about landing.
In this particular incident, the passengers weren’t in any immediate danger, an FAA spokesman said.
Even so, it’s troubling that the pilot of that Air Canada flight on Sunday night did not respond to instructions from the control tower. An air traffic control radio recording from the incident shows that the pilot was told “Go around, go around” a total of six times and not land on the runway because the tower was worried the runway wasn’t clear.
The pilot of the Air Canada flight later said he or she was having radio problems and couldn't hear the instructions.
The air traffic controller also used a red light gun to get the pilot's attention and that also didn't work. Eventually, the plane landed with no problems.
But this comes just three months after another Air Canada flight narrowly missed crashing into another plane at SFO when the pilot mistook a crowded taxi way for the runway and came as close as 60 feet to four other planes on the taxi way before pulling up and aborting the landing.
Because of that near-disaster the FAA has made changes to the rules about when and how planes can land at SFO at night.