Clearance was provided for Aeromexico Flight 668 on SFO Airport's Runway 28R, but for reasons not known, the aircraft's pilots aligned the plane with Runway 28L, located next to the originally assigned runway, ABC 7 News reported. According to airport officials an Aeromexico flight was cleared to land on runway 28 right, but when the plane was about a mile away, controllers noticed the plane was lined up for 28 left. The Aeromexico crew was instructed to execute a missed approach.
Pilots and safety experts said air traffic controllers did a good job when they quickly redirected the Aeromexico jet at an airport that many pilots say is notoriously hard to land at. He said the FAA has opened an investigation.
Flight tracking site FlightAware listed the altitude of the Aeroméxico jet as low as 600 feet - before controllers stepped in and told the pilot to "go around".
An Air Canada flight crew landed in October on one of the airport's runways despite repeated warnings to abort because a controller believed another airplane had not left the area yet.
The blunder follows a pair of missed signals by Air Canada pilots previous year.
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On 7 July 2017, an Air Canada Airbus A320 operating a flight from Toronto almost landed on a taxiway at San Francisco.
The controller feared another plane that had just landed might still be on the runway, but the Air Canada jet landed safely. Aeromexico says they are "investigating the events".
The incidents include an event in December 2016 when a SkyWest plane crossed a painted runway line it was supposed to stay behind while another plane was taking off, according to a safety board preliminary report.
A Virgin America A320 family aircraft was on Runway 28L awaiting takeoff at the time of the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration confirms.
Both incidents happened at night, and there were no injuries in either case.