Rejected Landings & Go Arounds

Introduction:

  • 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

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

Dangers:

  • 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
    • 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

Go-Arounds:

  • 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:

Conclusion:

  • Consider practicing maneuvers on a flight simulator to introduce yourself to maneuvers or knock off rust
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References: