by James Buchanan
We almost had the worst air disaster of all time as an Air Canada Airbus 320 almost landed on four wide-body planes lined up on a taxiway at San Francisco International Airport.
A Breitbart article reports “‘…what happened probably came close to the greatest aviation disaster in history… If you could imagine an Airbus colliding with four passenger aircraft wide bodies, full of fuel and passengers, then you can imagine how horrific this could have been.’”
“The pilot of the Air Canada Airbus 320, which was landing in San Francisco from Toronto, almost accidentally landed on Taxiway C, which is where the other aircraft were waiting for permission to take off.”
“According to audio archived by a user on LiveATC.net, which was acquired by the Mercury News, the Air Canada pilot could be heard asking the air traffic controller if he was cleared to land on 28R, which runs parallel to Taxiway C.”
“’There’s no one on 28R but you,’ the air controller told the Air Canada pilot. However, he accidentally flew towards the taxiway. Another pilot could be heard saying, ‘Where’s this guy going? He’s on the taxiway.’”
“The Air Canada pilot was then told to abandon the approach, and was later guided to the parallel strip where he was supposed to land. Peter Fitzpatrick, an Air Canada spokesman, told the Mercury News that the flight ‘landed normally without incident’ after the pilot was told to go around.”
Believe it or not, Captain Sully Sullenberger, who saved a plane full of people by landing it on the Hudson River, had his pay cut by 40 percent shortly afterwards. That pay cut wasn’t directed specifically at him, but affected all the pilots at his airline. An article at the Digital Journal reports “He (Sullenberger) told the House aviation subcommittee that he joined US Airways in 1980 but his pay has been cut 40 per cent in recent years and his pension altogether eliminated.”
An article on Business Insider reports “‘The reduced compensation has placed “pilots and their families in an untenable financial situation,’ Sullenberger said. ‘I do not know a single, professional airline pilot who wants his or her children to follow in their footsteps.'”
“Sullenberger’s copilot Jeffrey B. Skiles said unless federal laws are revised to improve labor-management relations ‘experienced crews in the cockpit will be a thing of the past.'”
As an example of what can happen from low pay and corporate airline cheapness consider the case of Flight 3407, which crashed killing 50 people. The 47 year old pilot had lied about his experience, not mentioning that he had failed several tests as noted here.
Both the pilot and co-pilot lacked experience with icing conditions. The pilot tried to pull up after a stall warning. He should have tried to gain speed by putting the plane in a shallow dive. The plane stalled and crashed, killing all on board.
Corporate cheapness is like a disease, and if left untreated, it can kill a lot of people.