Jumbo Jet’s Low Turn On Wrong Course Startles Neighborhood

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) —  The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday was investigating a jumbo jet’s turn in the wrong direction after it departed from Los Angeles International Airport.

The EVA Airways Boeing 777 bound for Taipei, Taiwan, flew north instead of south after departing from LAX early Friday morning, according to the FAA’s Ian Gregor.

“At the time, aircraft were departing from LAX to the east,” Gregor said, adding that the EVA flight departed from the airport’s south runway complex.

The 777’s flight crew switched from the LAX control tower to the approach control in San Diego right after takeoff, Gregor said.

“The air-traffic controller at the approach control who was handling EVA instructed the pilot to make a left turn to a 180-degree heading,” Gregor said.

“She meant to tell the pilot to make a right turn to a 180-degree heading. The pilot turned to the left. The controller quickly realized EVA was turning in the wrong direction. She took immediate action to keep EVA safely separated from an Air Canada jet that had departed LAX off the north runway complex.”

The jets “remained the required distance” from one another, he said.

“The controller then turned her attention to getting EVA to turn south,” Gregor said.

The plane turned low over an Altadena neighborhood, startling a homeowner who said it tossed her from her bed.

“The controller issued the EVA pilot a series of instructions to get him to turn south. The controller wanted to make sure the EVA aircraft was safely above or away from nearby terrain.”

The plane was heading dangerously close to the San Gabriel Mountains and was far below the summit of Mount Wilson at 5,700 feet. With moments to spare, pilot changed course and headed back toward the ocean.

Gregor said that FAA regulations require aircraft to be at least 3 miles away laterally or 2,000 feet vertically above obstacles, such as mountains.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


One Comment

  1. Oops ! I Mean your other left !

  2. I am sure people were worried about the Christian or Jewish terrorists flying the plane …Because Isamists are only misunderstood

  3. John Oakman says:

    Have you Ever asked a woman for directions??

  4. John Oakman says:

    “she meant” is all you need to know.

  5. I had the same thing happen almost thirty years ago while being vectored for an instrument approach to Stapleton International Airport (now closed). I knew that at my altitude and the heading given by ATC I’d fly into 14,000′ Mt. Evans and refused the command. I was later contacted by the FAA and the investigation resulted in the controller getting additional training. Bottom line for pilots…Don’t trust ATC especially in proximity to high terrain.

  6. Ja Busse says:

    Why was a plane that was told to turn to 180 degrees headed north in a straight line?. It doesn’t matter whether it turns right or left it turns to 180 degrees which is due south and it should keep turning until it lines up on 180. ! Maybe a right turn would have got it there in 90 degrees but a left turn would have continued the full 270 degrees and I heard no altitude limit so the plane would have been way above the mountains very quickly., Certainly by the time it got close to any. This is a big nothing unless the pilot kept going north.

    1. Dave Gamble says:

      You’re correct, but I would want more info, such as “were there mountains to the left” and, as you say, was there an altitude restriction? It’s too early to judge.

    2. Dave Gamble says:

      So I watched the video. There is traffic to the north, so ATC (quote) said “015, stop you climb now!” That could be for traffic separation.

  7. Part of a special outreach program, back in 2010 the Obama Administration set up a hiring process that gave preferences to minorities and women for ATAC positions. It was intended to hire some 5,000 to 8,000 ATAC Controllers.

    We reap what we sow.

  8. Told to make a “left turn to a 180° heading” from a 90° heading is valid, it’s a 270° left turn. Did LAX switch from 25 to 07 just before this happened? Even if so it is no excuse for the ATC controller to ASSUME a westerly course on initial contact.

  9. Sounds like Shaniqua steared that mofo in the wrong direction.

  10. i wonder if she puts her panties on backwards there is a reason they but a bow on most of them to show the person that it is the front not the back thank god nothing happened as for the lady that house had to be pretty high in order for her to be shaken highly doubt it unless the plane to house was a few hundered feet between them but a few thousand feet highly doubt it even if it were a 1000 feet difference we get 737s that are only 5-800 feet above us while landing at burbank we hardly notice them the only time is when at night at 7pm as it is know the 7pm arrivials out of the northwest you can see them come in one after the other

  11. John Patrick says:

    015 Heavy, what choo doin’? My right your left.

  12. This what happens when a sister tells you to turn left.

  13. snailmailtrucker says:

    Good Grief…Now we have Affirmative Action Air Traffic Controllers !
    I haven’t flown Commercial in Decades for just this reason !

  14. “The plane turned low over an Altadena neighborhood, startling a homeowner who said it tossed her from her bed.”

    That mean airplane just reached down, grabbed the neighbor, and slammed her down on the floor.

  15. Argos Wolf says:

    “Wadda you doin’?”… following your directions you dumb &^*(%

  16. That controller needs to take a leave of absence. It is inconceivable that headings don’t include the direction…wow.

  17. Dave Bush says:

    It’s all fun and games until somebody directs one plane to crash into another. Three cheers for affirmative action.

  18. Cole Trickle says:

    Don’t you racist morons understand that it is the duty of planeloads of White people to shut up and DIE rather than question affirmative action?

  19. Left, Right … what difference at this point Does – It – Make?

  20. Left, right, what difference does it make now? (/sarcasm)

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Los Angeles

Plan Your Trip
Follow Us On Twitter

Watch & Listen LIVE