Rejected Landings & Go Arounds


  • The traffic pattern provides standardized flow of aircraft transitioning between the approach and landing phases of flight
  • This standard flow allows for predictability in an otherwise extremely dangerous environment
  • The traffic pattern is the ultimate goal which began with the rectangular course with many hazards

All procedures are GENERALIZED.
Always fly per Pilot Operating Handbook procedures,
observing any relevant Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)


  • During a rejected landing/go-around, you're low, slow, and configured for landing (high drag)
  • As you add power you're going to start accelerating
    • This takes some time as you've got a lot of drag to fight with a rate of descent to arrest and then reverse
    • Often times the addition of power and subsequent airspeed increase is necessary before pulling the nose up as the aircraft may be on the backside of the power curve and performance therefore slower to respond
    • Additionally, as engine power increases, the nose will also increase in pitch, risking stall
  • Focus on staying on centerline in case you touch down
  • As you climb, you will start to feel the left turning tendencies
  • With a positive rate of climb you will want to clean up the aircraft
  • Remember that flaps increase lift, and raising those flaps therefore reduce it
  • Follow procedures and do not cause the aircraft to stall
  • Uncomfortable pilots (new airplane, new airport, new airspace) are especially vulnerable to the spike in blood pressure or stress when unexpected go-around instructions are received


  • Always give yourself a decision point whereby a go-around shall be executed, and past which you've conceded to a botched landing
    • Do not fly on hopes you have the performance, your charts know the answer ahead of time
  • Consider the left turning tendencies associated with adding full power
  • Fly your airspeeds, resist the urge to pull away from the earth even if that means touching the runway briefly
  • Avoid abrupt bank or pitch changes
  • Manage flap and gear positions, do not immediately retract either, don't forget to retract them all together

Deciding When to Discontinue an Approach:

  • Pilots must always be in a position to make a safe landing
  • When that is determined to no longer be the case, a go-around should be executed
  • Go-arounds are always "free" and a stabilized approach is unlikely to be corrected on short final

Rejected Landings and Go-Arounds Airman Certification Standards:

  • To determine that the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with a go-around/rejected landing with emphasis on factors that contribute to landing conditions that may require a go-around
  • References: FAA-H-8083-3, FAA-H-8083-23; POH/AFM; AIM

Go-Around/Rejected Landing Knowledge:

The applicant must demonstrate an understanding of:
  • PA.IV.N.K1:

    A stabilized approach, to include energy management concepts
  • PA.IV.N.K2:

    Effects of atmospheric conditions, including wind and density altitude on a go-around or rejected landing
  • PA.IV.N.K3:

    Wind correction techniques on takeoff/departure and approach/landing

Go-Around/Rejected Landing Risk Management:

The applicant demonstrates the ability to identify, assess and mitigate risks, encompassing:
  • PA.IV.N.R1:

    Delayed recognition of the need for a go-around/rejected landing
  • PA.IV.N.R2:

    Delayed performance of a go-around at low altitude
  • PA.IV.N.R3:

    Improper application of power
  • PA.IV.N.R4:

    Improper airplane configuration
  • PA.IV.N.R5:

    Collision hazards, to include aircraft, terrain, obstacles, wires, vehicles, vessels, persons, and wildlife
  • PA.IV.N.R6:

    Low altitude maneuvering including stall, spin, or CFIT
  • PA.IV.N.R7:

    Distractions, loss of situational awareness, or improper task management

Go-Around/Rejected Landing Skills:

The applicant demonstrates the ability to:
  • PA.IV.N.S1:

    Complete the appropriate checklist
  • PA.IV.N.S2:

    Make radio calls as appropriate
  • PA.IV.N.S3:

    Make a timely decision to discontinue the approach to landing
  • PA.IV.N.S4:

    Apply takeoff power immediately and transition to climb pitch attitude for Vx or Vy as appropriate +10/-5 knots
  • PA.IV.N.S5:

    Configure the airplane after a positive rate of climb has been verified or in accordance with airplane manufacturer's instructions
  • PA.IV.N.S6:

    Maneuver to the side of the runway/landing area when necessary to clear and avoid conflicting traffic
  • PA.IV.N.S7:

    Maintain VY +10/-5 knots to a safe maneuvering altitude
  • PA.IV.N.S8:

    Maintain directional control and proper wind-drift correction throughout the climb

Go-Arounds and Rejected Landings Case Studies:

Rejected Landings and Go Arounds Airman Certification Standards:


  • Pilots are often reluctant to execute a go-around, often to their own detriment
    • ADM is more respected when the right call, not the macho call, is made
    • Additionally, training for go-arounds may increase comfort in their execution, as the sequence of events to include continuing to monitor traffic and talk to ATC without having planned
  • Consider practicing maneuvers on a flight simulator to introduce yourself to maneuvers or knock off rust
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