I'm still amazed that this runway near-incident almost happened. It reminds me of the possible Canary Island Tenerife type disaster that could have occurred. (pilot-error).
The Tenerife airport disaster in 1977 was a collision involving two Boeing 747 passenger aircraft on the runway of Los Rodeos Airport (now known as Tenerife North Airport) on the Spanish island of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. With 583 fatalities, the crash remains the deadliest accident in aviation history. All 248 aboard the fully fuelled KLM flight were killed. There were also 335 fatalities and 61 survivors from the Pan Am flight, which was struck along its spine by the KLM's landing gear, under-belly and four engines. Rescue crews were unaware for over 20 minutes that the Pan Am aircraft was also involved in the accident, because of the heavy fog and the separation of the crippled aircraft following the collision.
Or how about US Air 1493 and Skywest 5569? Boeing 737-300 (N388US) collided with a Skywest Metroliner (N683AV) while landing at KLAX on 02/01/91. US Air 1493 was cleared to land on 24L while Skywest 5569 was holding in position for an intersection departure. Upon touchdown, the US Air crew noticed the Metroliner sitting on the runway, but it was too late. During the investigation, it was determined that Skywest's operating procedure was to turn the landing lights and strobe lights on ONLY AFTER
being cleared for takeoff, she sat on the runway with her nav lights and anti-collision beacon on only. The Metroliner was invisible
to the US Air crew as they made the approach. The NTSB recreated the conditions that evening, placing a Metroliner at the intersection Skywest 5569 was sitting at, and flew the approach in a helicopter. They could not see the Metroliner on the runway until they were almost over top of it. Controller Error was sighted in this crash that killed all 12 souls on the Metroliner and 22 souls on the B737.http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/GenPDF.asp?id=DCA91MA018A&rpt=fihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USAir_Flight_1493http://www.planecrashinfo.com/w19910201.htm
Obviously, it was not controller error in the Aerogal incident. The tower controller did a great job handling the issue. And hats off to the ON POINT
Delta crew! Way to keep your heads up! Had they not noticed the Aerogal turning final for the wrong runway, and taxied into position, the outcome could have been very similar to the above US Air-Skywest crash, only on a much grander scale. A B767-300, B757-200, and an E190 were the aircraft present at that time. Aerogal 700H was a B767-300, Delta 122 was a Boeing 757-200 bound for Shannon (EINN), and Jet Blue 1087, the aircraft that was rolling on the runway, was an E190 bound for KCLT.