Audio: SFO tower tries to get Air Canada pilot's attention


Although the crew acknowledged clearance to land when the jet was six miles away from the airport, as the plane approached the runway, "an air traffic controller repeated six straight times for the Air Canada pilot to execute a "go-around" - an aborted landing where the plane pulls up and circles around to approach again", noted the Times.

The Air Canada crew did not acknowledge any of these instructions.

We've reached out to Air Canada for further comment, and will update as soon as they provide further information.

This isn't the first time that Air Canada has had issues at SFO. But air traffic control then gave six orders to "go around" because it believed another plane may have been in the runway. The landing was uneventful but it seems the Air Canada crew did not reply to radio transmissions nor to a so-called "red-light gun" alert used to communicate with planes when the radio fails. Gregor said flashing a light gun is standard protocol when an air crew is not responding to radio instructions.

At 9:26 p.m., the jet still ended up coming in for a landing, although the runway happened to be clear. At about 3:55, Air Canada finally responds, saying it had radio trouble.

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Air traffic control cleared the flight to land on Runway 28R.

Multiple investigations were launched in July when another arriving Air Canada flight came within 100 feet of hitting two commercial planes lined up on a taxiway.

"After receiving proper clearance to land it proceeded to do so and landed normally", Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said in a statement released by the airline Tuesday. Pilots told investigators "they did not recall seeing aircraft" on the taxiway but "something did not look right to them", a National Transportation Safety Board report stated. Federal investigators determined that pilot error caused the plane to arrive too low at the airport runway.

That incident prompted new policies at San Francisco International Airport.