The Near Crash of Air Canada Flight AC759
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August 22, 2019 - by Admiral_Cloudberg for medium.com
On the 7th of July 2017, Air Canada flight 759 lined up to land on the taxiway instead of the runway at San Francisco International Airport, in the process coming just seconds away from causing what might have been one of the worst aviation disasters in history.
This article examines the sequence of events that brought flight 759 onto a collision course with four other airplanes, and demonstrates just how close it came to catastrophe. In the process it seeks to answer the question of what could have happened, why it did not, and how this near miss has served as an opportunity to prevent future disasters before they occur.
The night before the flight to San Francisco, the captain slept at home in Toronto.
After arriving in Toronto from New York at 23:13, he made his way home and went to sleep between 02:00 and 03:00, then woke up again for the next day's duty at 07:45, receiving somewhere between 4 and 6 hours of sleep.
He didn't have any flights scheduled that day, but he was on standby in case a backup pilot was needed, and at 11:49, Air Canada called him up to command flight 759 to San Francisco.
By the time he reported for duty at 19:40, he had already been awake for nearly 12 hours.
The first officer had gone to sleep at 03:00 the previous night after a flight from San Francisco to Toronto, and woke up at 9:00, getting around 6 hours of sleep. This was...
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