San Francisco: ATC Mix-up : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


March 27, 2001

PDX bound jet skids to stop after aborting takeoff

PORTLAND - A mix-up by an air traffic controller at San Francisco International Airport forced Alaska Airlines flight 351 to abort takeoff, and instead skid to a stop near the end of a runway.

An Alaska spokesman says the plane was taking off from San Francisco International when the tower called for an emergency abort.

A controller thought a plane on a crossing runway might get in the way of the 737.

The spokesman says the pilot had to hit the brakes at 125 miles per hour, coming to a screeching halt, and shredding some of the tires.

"I'd flown a lot and I'd never seen anything like It. We stopped and I didn't know if we were going to stop or slide into the water," recalled passenger Neil Bieker. "We couldn't see obviously what was ahead of us. It was pretty spooky."

The plane landed at PDX after it was delayed more than three hours in San Francisco.

None of the crew or the 39 passengers aboard were hurt.

It turned out the second plane did not cross the Alaska plane's path.

-- Rachel Gibson (, March 28, 2001

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