Air Canada crew unaware of runway closure

[Ref Flight International | 9-15 October 2018]

A320 came within 10ft of disaster at San Francisco, US probe finds, as fatigued pilots lined up to land on crowded taxiway.

“I do not want to sensationalise it, but this was a very close call,” says NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt.

the (both) pilots remained unaware of the situation and ended up mistaking the taxiway for runway 28R.

  • NTSB human performance investigator Sathya Silva points out that information on the runway closure was buried in the pages of NOTAMs, and that the presentation was “not effective”.

  • pilots often have to sift through dozens of pages of sometimes irrelevant information. “The NOTAM system is really messed up…just a bunch of garbage that nobody pays attention to.

Under US pilot fatigue rules, the captain would not have been allowed to operate the f light, says Silva.

  • Contributing to the incident was pilot fatigue, notes Silva: the captain had gone for 19h without significant rest, and the first officer 12h. In addition, the crew’s body clocks were out of sync: although the aircraft was landing at 23:56 local, the time in Toronto (destination), from where the flight had departed, was 3h ahead.


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