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NTSB Report Details How Close United Airlines Flight 889 Came To A Midair

United Airlines Flight 889 (N216UA) had just departed San Francisco Airport, California for Beijing, China with 268 onboard on March 27, 2010, when an operational error occurred at the San Francisco Airport Traffic Control Tower (SFO ATCT). Flight 889 (UAL889), a Boeing 777 and a Cessna 182 (N9870E) transiting the SFO class B surface area southbound toward Palo Alto, California, passed within approximately 480 feet laterally and ( Plus d'info...

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Damian Lohrenz 0
I knew it was close but wow.... That close! Someone should be fired, This is WAY to close. We dont need another mid air collision in California like what happened before in San diego I think
SFO tower sucks, I know that first hand. They try to shove all the blame onto the pilot. Luckily for me the Feds read my blistering report, reviewed it, saw the real truth, and came to the right conclusinon, dropping it. The manaqer at that tower, I forgot his name, only sees things one way, that is his controllers could do no wrong...
That should be conclusion above...
nbukrey 0
Wow, that was close!
I flew and instructed in the Bay Area for a number of years, most often out of San Carlos (SQL) and Palo Alto (PAO). The Bay Area Tour is an easy Bravo transition for any reasonable seasoned pilot who has done it before or with another pilot. 2-3 times and you have it. I wouldn’t want to try it without having done it with one who knows what they are doing first.
With that said, prevailing winds dictate that most often planes land on 28L and 28R and depart on 1L and 1R. There are times the winds dictate the opposite. That is when the IFR corridor along the 101 Freeway at 2000 feet becomes a bit trickier. When the big iron launches off the 28s they head directly toward to 101 and the piston bangers. When they depart the 1s they are heading over the Bay and away from the GA transitioning traffic. It is my belief that a more seasoned pilot is needed in the 28L and 28R departure situation AND that that ATC really be on game for this. They are using seat of pants judgment, which almost always suffices. But what happens can be the fault of all. ATC doesn’t provide enough time for separation on departure, the airline pilots freak out very easily as they typically dislike VFR traffic of most kinds and GA pilots can lack the experience or really competence and currency to make such operations very safe and sustainable.

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