A Gulfstream GIV cleared to land on Runway 35 at Philadelphia International Airport instead lined up with an adjacent occupied taxiway before the pilot initiated a go-around about 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from the end of the taxiway, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in a preliminary report released today on the Aug. 10 incident.
The incident airplane, which was being operated on a Federal Aviation Regulations Part 135 (taxi and commuter — non–scheduled) flight, overflew four airliners (two Embraer ERJ-145s, an ERJ-175 and a Bombardier CRJ-700) on the taxiway during the go-around climb, and came within about 200 ft of the first airplane on the taxiway, NTSB said.
The incident occurred about 2050 local time on Friday, Aug. 10. The airplane, carrying seven passengers and crew, was being operated by Pegasus Elite Aviation as PEGJET Flight 19; it was on a visual approach and had been cleared to land on Runway 35. During the approach, the airplane aligned with the adjacent parallel Taxiway E. No one in the airplane was injured.
At the time of the approach, the Runway 35 runway end identifier lights and the precision approach path indicator lights were out of service, NTSB said.
On its website, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says that wrong surface landings “are occurring at an alarming rate” of roughly one every other day. About 85 percent of those events involve general aviation aircraft, FAA said.
Last month, FAA sponsored a day-long conference to address wrong surface events, and the issue also is expected to be a topic at Flight Safety Foundation’s 71st annual International Air Safety Summit in Seattle Nov. 12–14.
NTSB also is investigating the July 7, 2017, near-miss at San Francisco International Airport in which an Air Canada Airbus A320, on a nighttime approach, mistakenly lined up with an occupied parallel taxiway. According to NTSB’s preliminary report, the incident aircraft descended to 59 ft above ground level before going around. NTSB plans to hold a board meeting Sept. 25 to determine the probable cause of the Air Canada incident.