Pilot's tip of the week

Go-Around Safely


Subscriber question:

"I just completed a flight review and my instructor wasn't happy with my go-around. What are the keys to the go-around?" — Mel S.


“The go-around is not an inherently difficult procedure. The challenge of go-arounds is that they must be performed instinctively, without hesitation, with precision.

Pilots should always refer to the Pilot’s Operating Handbook for specific details, but power, pitch, and configuration are the big three—in that order.

Smoothly advancing the power to full is the first step. Jamming it forward may produce a very uncomfortable sound and very negative results.

Fly the airplane safely away from the ground as airspeed permits. Establishing a positive pitch attitude will provide separation from the ground, but many pilots are reluctant to pitch the aircraft to a positive climb attitude.

Especially with full flaps—when power and pitch are established, flaps should be carefully placed in a takeoff setting, but not fully retracted. Slapping flaps all the way up on the go-around can result in ground contact. When safely established in a climb and flaps are set for takeoff, the gear can be retracted if applicable.

Clearing the runway to avoid whatever was there is a good idea, choosing the appropriate side to keep the conflicting object in sight as necessary.

Remember, radio calls are the least important item on the go-around, not the most important. There is no rush to get the call in. Aircraft control is paramount!

Obviously, every pilot should master the procedures called for in their airplane, but power, pitch and configuration works in all situations.”

Do you practice go-arounds?

(NEW) VFR Mastery scenario #72 “Rocky Mountain Milestone” is now available. You know high-altitude flying, as it’s where you trained. You have a capable airplane and a clear plan in mind. The devil is in the details when it comes to calculated performance, though, and a few extra degrees can make all the difference in getting off the pavement. Watch the Intro video.

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