Federal investigators on Monday revealed startling new information about the July 7 close-call at SFO. The Air Canada pilot that mistook a crowded taxiway for his approved runway actually flew over at least one plane on the ground before aborting his landing.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators said in an initial report that Air Canada flight 759 from Toronto descended below 100 feet and aborted the landing “after overflying the first airplane on the taxiway.”

New data show that the Air Canada plane was just passing over a second aircraft – Philippine Airlines jet – at 106 ft in the air and continued his descent when an SFO air traffic controller finally warned him to abort his landing.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said in their initial report that the Air Canada pilot did not begin his “go-around” until the air traffic controller told him to pull up.

The plane continued to drop to as low as 81 feet, as aviation experts say such a late aborted landing takes a moment to stop the jet’s inertia and climb again.

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