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Final Report Released: A United Boeing 787 Narrowly Avoided Landing Wrong Runway Due To ATC Error


A United Boeing 787-10 narrowly avoided landing on the wrong runway on 20th July 2020 after the tower cleared the crew to land on runway 09R instead of 09L.


The United Airlines Boeing 787-10, registration N16009 was performing flight UA-57 from Newark, the USA to Paris, France.


As the ATC gave landing clearance to the United Airlines Boeing 787-10 to runway 09R, An Easyjet Europe Airbus A320 was cleared to line up runway 09R.


Realizing the developing situation, the EasyJet crew advised ATC who the. issued a go-around to United the Boeing 787 which was just 260ft AGL.


On Jul 19th, 2021 the BEA released the final report of the incident concluding the probable cause as: - A mental slip by the controller clearing the aircraft to land on an occupied runway and not verifying the readback by the crew.

- The traffic management at that moment was essentially on runway 09R (one landing, two departures, two runway crossings)

- The controller's concern with his change of position from Local NorthWest to Local NorthEast

- The controller's lack of practice related to the decrease in traffic during Covid 19 crisis period

- The use of the non-standard expression "Understand" by the flight crew rather than "confirm" which would have attracted more attention by the controller

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