Pilot's tip of the week

Giving Go-Arounds The Run-Around


Subscriber question:

"Why are pilots so reluctant to perform go-arounds?" — Marty O.


“I think there are two very important reasons why pilots are reluctant to perform go-arounds.

First, there is a negative perception surrounding go-arounds that defies logic. Instead of viewing a go-around as a positive tool to correct an unsafe or uncomfortable situation, pilots feel that it is an admission of a screw-up, and demonstrates to passengers or even those on the ground that we messed up. Admit it: Don’t we just think that if we see someone go-around on short final? This is such a false message and must be overcome. Go-arounds are a valuable tool to pilots and must be considered an option at all times.

Secondly, go-arounds are not routinely practiced by pilots and as a result, many pilots have not integrated them into their flying repertoire. Just think about all the bad and dangerous landings that could have been avoided by a judicious go-around. We must therefore integrate go-arounds into our flying so that we are comfortable and confident that we can perform them safely when needed.

I remember on check rides that go-arounds had a very high failure rate, not because they were inherently difficult but that they were only performed once a year—on a check ride! Additionally, because they are not always anticipated, we tend to rush the process which never helps.

The sequence of adding power, transitioning to climb, managing flaps and gear, and making radio calls often gets confused. Simply talking through your plan of attack for a go-around will help you be ready for this very important event.”

Do you practice go-arounds outside of flight reviews or checkrides?

(NEW) VFR Mastery scenario #70 “Next Step, Climb?” is now available. How hot is too hot in an airplane with simple engine instrumentation and showing no other sign of distress? What do you do when the POH guidance provides no useful guidance at all. Is this an emergency, business as usual, or something in between? Watch the Intro video.

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