Air Traffic Controller Mistake Nearly Causes Plane Crash
An air traffic controller error sent a jet from Los Angeles into the flight path of another plane and flying low over the mountains above the San Gabriel Valley, reports Eyewitness News. As a big rainstorm pounded Southern California early Friday, an EVA Air Boeing 777 that left LAX around 1:20 a.m. heading to Taipei was given an incorrect instruction by a controller based in San Diego to turn left instead of right. That sent the airliner toward the mountains above Altadena, as well as toward the flight path of an Air Canada plane that had just taken off. Audio traffic indicates the same controller realizing the problem and telling the airliner to "Stop your climb" and several times to head southbound. "EVA 015 Heavy, what are you doing? Turn southbound now, southbound now. Stop your climb," the frustrated controller says after the plane apparently does not heed her initial instruction. Several times the controller tells the pilot to head south. More than a minute later, she is still trying to get him to change direction. The EVA crew eventually pulled up and got onto the right flight path. Some residents say they were startled late at night by the ominous sound of a large jet that seemed to be flying too close to the ground. They said they don't get low-flying planes in their area because of the nearby mountains. "It sounds like it's getting lower and lower and really loud, really big," said Altadena resident Kate Sullivan. "Like a really big fricking jet is going right over the house really slowly." "We never have jets coming in, in this neighborhood, because we have Mt. Wilson right here. The mountains are right here!" The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States has launched an investigation into the incident.