WASHINGTON — Shortly before a private plane mistakenly landed on a taxiway and slammed into a commercial jetliner at Tampa International Airport in Florida, two other pilots decided against landing because of poor visibili t y, government sources said Friday.
The pilot of the small Piper Apache, a veteran Eastern Airlines captain, was killed in the collision early Thursday and several of the 23 people aboard the Pan American World Airways Boeing 727 were slightly injured.
Investigators have not determined what led William S. Bain, 56, to land on the taxiway, which runs parallel to the main runway.
Visibility Below Minimum
But sources said he had been told a mile from the airport that runway visibility was well below minimum safe levels because of fog and that he likely mistook the taxiway lights for the runway lights.