A missed radio call resulted in a runway incursion involving an Air Canada Embraer 190 and a packed Boeing 777 also operated by Air Canada in 2020 at Pearson Airport. The incursion got some attention at the time but the Transportation Safety Board released its report on the close call last week. The report estimates the two aircraft were about 25 seconds away from a collision. The E190 had 83 passengers and four crew and was heading for Denver and the 777 was going to Halifax with 345 passengers and 14 crew.
The E190 was cleared for takeoff on Runway 06L and as it accelerated the 777 was cleared to line up and wait. On its takeoff run, the E190 hit a bird and the crew stopped on the runway. The crew reported the incident but both the 777 crew and tower controller missed it. The 777 was cleared for takeoff and was almost at V1 when the crew spotted the smaller jet and slammed on the brakes. It stopped 1,646 feet before the E190. Adding to the confusion was the fact that the Embraer’s transponder showed it airborne even though it never left the runway. The transponder met all standards but nevertheless gave an inaccurate reading.