Business Jet Nearly Lands on Aircraft in Philadelphia

Incident similar to last year’s close call at SFO.

gulfstream g 4
A Gulfstream IV similar to the one involved in the PHL incident.D. Ramey Logan/Wikimedia Commons

Just a few minutes after sunset on Friday, August 10, a Gulfstream GIV nearly landed on a parallel taxiway at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Although no one aboard the aircraft, or on the ground was injured, the incident was eerily similar to one a year ago in which an Air Canada Airbus nearly landed on a number of air carrier aircraft sitting on the parallel taxiway at San Francisco International Airport.

The Gulfstream on August 10 was operating under Part 135 as Pegasus Elite Aviation’s PEGJET flight 19. The aircraft was on a visual approach and had been cleared to land on runway 35, the only north south runway at PHL. During the nighttime approach, the Gulfstream lined up with taxiway E, parallel to and just west of runway 35.

The pilot initiated a go-around approximately 500 feet short of the beginning of the taxiway, overflying the first airplane in line by a scant 200 feet. The aircraft overflew three other air carrier airplanes on taxiway E during the go-around climb. At the time of the approach, the runway 35 runway end identifier lights and the precision approach path indicator lights were out of service.

PHL weather at the time of the incident has not been reported. The Farmer’s Almanac however, reported essentially good visibility and light winds all day on August 10, with only a trace of measurable precipitation. The NTSB is continuing its investigation into the cause.