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Go-around

Go-around

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A go-around is an aborted landing of an aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 that is on final approach
Airfield traffic pattern
An airfield traffic pattern is a standard path followed by aircraft when taking off or landing, while maintaining visual contact with the airfield....

.

Origin of the term


The term arises from the traditional use of traffic patterns
Airfield traffic pattern
An airfield traffic pattern is a standard path followed by aircraft when taking off or landing, while maintaining visual contact with the airfield....

 at airfields. A landing aircraft will first join the circuit pattern and prepare for landing in an orderly fashion. If for some reason the pilot decides not to land, he can simply fly back up to circuit height, and complete another circuit. The term go-around is still used even for modern airliner
Airliner
An airliner is a large fixed-wing aircraft for transporting passengers and cargo. Such aircraft are operated by airlines. Although the definition of an airliner can vary from country to country, an airliner is typically defined as an aircraft intended for carrying multiple passengers in commercial...

s, though they may not use traditional circuit patterns for landing. The maneuver is also known as a balked landing.

Reasons for going around


Initiation of a go-around procedure may be either ordered by air traffic control
Air traffic control
Air traffic control is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and in the air. The primary purpose of ATC systems worldwide is to separate aircraft to prevent collisions, to organize and expedite the flow of traffic, and to provide information and other...

 (normally the local or 'tower' controller in a controlled field) or decided by the pilot in command of the aircraft.

In a controlled field, the local controller may instruct the pilot to go around if there is an aircraft, vehicle or object on the runway or some other unsafe condition. In both controlled and uncontrolled fields, the pilot in command may decide to go around at any time, for example if the aircraft is not lined up or configured properly for a safe landing; an aircraft, vehicle or other object has not cleared the runway; no landing clearance was received (in a controlled field); the landing gear is not properly extended; a dangerous meteorological condition is experienced on final approach (e.g., poor visibility, excessive cross-winds, windshear
WindShear
The Windshear Full Scale Rolling Road Wind Tunnel is an automotive wind tunnel in Concord, North Carolina.In January 2008 Wind Shear, a division of US machine tool builder Haas Automat-80.7ion, completed construction on one of the most advanced automotive wind tunnels in the world. The full-scale...

, etc.); excessive energy (too high or too fast); or some other unsafe condition is detected. In naval aviation
Naval aviation
Naval aviation is the application of manned military air power by navies, including ships that embark fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters. In contrast, maritime aviation is the operation of aircraft in a maritime role under the command of non-naval forces such as the former RAF Coastal Command or a...

, the term "wave-off" is used instead of go-around. A pilot will always initiate a wave-off by applying full thrust when touching down on an aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

 as a fail-safe
Fail-safe
A fail-safe or fail-secure device is one that, in the event of failure, responds in a way that will cause no harm, or at least a minimum of harm, to other devices or danger to personnel....

 measure. That way, if his plane's tailhook
Tailhook
A tailhook, also arresting hook or arrester hook, is a device attached to the empennage of some military fixed wing aircraft...

 fails to catch any of the arrestor cables (known as a (deck)
Flight deck
The flight deck of an aircraft carrier is the surface from which its aircraft take off and land, essentially a miniature airfield at sea. On smaller naval ships which do not have aviation as a primary mission, the landing area for helicopters and other VTOL aircraft is also referred to as the...

 "bolter") the aircraft can climb again. If the tailhook
Tailhook
A tailhook, also arresting hook or arrester hook, is a device attached to the empennage of some military fixed wing aircraft...

 catches a cable the aircraft will stop in short order regardless. Conversely if wave-off was not initiated and the aircraft was not arrested, it would not have enough power and/or runway to take off from the carrier.

A go-around does not in itself constitute any sort of emergency (although it may on rare occasions be in response to an emergency). A properly executed go-around is a routine, safe and well-practiced maneuver.

Many airlines and aircraft operators state a list of conditions that must be satisfied so that a safe landing can be carried out. If one or more of these conditions cannot be satisfied then a go-around should be considered in some cases and must be carried out in others. This list is usually written in the operator's operations manual which has to be approved by the relevant aviation authority (CAA in the UK). The operator's list of conditions is not exhaustive; pilots should use their individual judgement outside of this scope.

Flights conducted under instrument flight rules
Instrument flight rules
Instrument flight rules are one of two sets of regulations governing all aspects of civil aviation aircraft operations; the other are visual flight rules ....

, including all airline traffic, refer to "executing the missed approach
Missed approach
Missed approach is an instrument flight rules procedure which is a standard component segment of an instrument approach. Generally, if the pilot flying or the pilot in command determines by the time the aircraft is at the decision height or missed approach point , that the runway or its...

" rather than a (VFR
Visual flight rules
Visual flight rules are a set of regulations which allow a pilot to operate an aircraft in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow the pilot to see where the aircraft is going. Specifically, the weather must be better than basic VFR weather minimums, as specified in the rules of the...

) go-around. The maneuver itself is the same, but the pilot instead follows a pre-defined navigational "missed approach
Missed approach
Missed approach is an instrument flight rules procedure which is a standard component segment of an instrument approach. Generally, if the pilot flying or the pilot in command determines by the time the aircraft is at the decision height or missed approach point , that the runway or its...

" sequence, published on the approach chart, instead of entering a circuit or pattern. Absent further instructions from the controller, a missed approach sequence directs an aircraft around traffic patterns and terrain into a safe place to begin a holding pattern.

The go-around procedure


When the pilot is instructed or decides to go around, the pilot will apply full power to the engine(s), adopt an appropriate climb attitude and airspeed, retract landing gear, retract flaps as necessary, follow the instructions of the air traffic controller (in a controlled field) and typically climb into the traffic pattern
Traffic pattern
Traffic pattern can refer to*Information traffic patterns*Airfield traffic patterns...

 for another circuit if required.

Many modern aircraft, such as the Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 and Airbus
Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

 series, use fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals transmitted by wires , and flight control computers determine how to move the actuators at each control...

 systems with go-around modes that automatically set maximum available power and pitch the aircraft for best performance, using a TO GA button. On other aircraft, the pilot performs the go-around manually. In a typical small aircraft, such as those found in general aviation
General aviation
General aviation is one of the two categories of civil aviation. It refers to all flights other than military and scheduled airline and regular cargo flights, both private and commercial. General aviation flights range from gliders and powered parachutes to large, non-scheduled cargo jet flights...

, this might involve:
  • applying full power.
  • adopting an appropriate climb attitude and airspeed.
  • removing one stage of flap
    Flap (aircraft)
    Flaps are normally hinged surfaces mounted on the trailing edges of the wings of a fixed-wing aircraft to reduce the speed an aircraft can be safely flown at and to increase the angle of descent for landing without increasing air speed. They shorten takeoff and landing distances as well as...

    , if necessary.
  • checking for a positive rate of climb.
  • raising the landing gear
    Undercarriage
    The undercarriage or landing gear in aviation, is the structure that supports an aircraft on the ground and allows it to taxi, takeoff and land...

    , if the aircraft has retractable gear.
  • raising the flaps fully, once a positive rate of climb is established and the aircraft is above a certain safe airspeed and altitude.
  • removing carburetor heat
    Carburetor heat
    Carburetor, carburettor, carburator, carburettet heat is a system used in automobile and piston-powered light aircraft engines to prevent or clear carburetor icing. It consists of a moveable flap which draws hot air into the engine intake...

    , if it is on.
  • climbing back to pattern altitude
    Airfield traffic pattern
    An airfield traffic pattern is a standard path followed by aircraft when taking off or landing, while maintaining visual contact with the airfield....

    .
  • advising control tower
    Control tower
    A control tower, or more specifically an Air Traffic Control Tower , is the name of the airport building from which the air traffic control unit controls the movement of aircraft on and around the airport. Control towers are also used to control the traffic for other forms of transportation such...

    and/or other traffic about go-around decision by radio.


This is easily remembered by the mnemonic "5Cs"—Cram it, Climb it, Clean it up, Cool it, and Call it!, or sometimes the "5 Ups": Power Up, Nose Up, Gear Up, Flaps Up, Speak Up.