The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating an incident in which a passenger aircraft was given wrong directions by traffic controllers and guided toward the San Gabriel Mountains, where it flew just hundreds of feet higher than the peak of Mt. Wilson before turning around, according to publicly available flight data.
Bound for Taiwan, the EVA Air Boeing 777 took off to the east early Friday from Los Angeles International Airport’s south runway complex, according to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor. After takeoff, the air crew switched from the LAX control tower to the approach control operations in San Diego, which Gregor said was common practice.
“The air traffic controller at the approach control who was handling EVA instructed the pilot to make a left turn to a 180-degree heading,” he said. “She meant to tell the pilot to make a right turn to a 180-degree heading.”
...When the controller realized the mistake, she “took immediate action to keep EVA safely separated” from the second aircraft as well as ground terrain, Gregor said. She issued the EVA pilot a series of instructions to help him turn south.
...As the aircraft banks directly to the south of Mt. Wilson, it continues to gain altitude and appears to fly between 500 and 800 feet higher than the Mt. Wilson Observatory, which stands roughly 5,710 feet high, according to the website data. The aircraft’s lateral distance from the mountain peak appears to be between 500 and 600 meters.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Southbound, Northbound, What's The Difference?
Actually, it's a pretty big difference: