Pilot's Tip of the Week

Go Around Procedure

Featuring Bob Martens


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Mark:

"Is there a standard go-around procedure that works in every aircraft?"

Bob:

"Absolutely. As we stated previously, the go-around is not an inherently difficult procedure. 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!

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

Establishing a positive pitch attitude will provide separation from the ground, but over rotating at low airspeed could produce a stall, and under rotating could create collision issues. We'll elaborate further about problems on the go-around in just a moment.

Especially with full flaps, but when power and pitch are established, flaps should be carefully placed in a take off setting, but not fully retracted. Slapping flaps all the way up on the go-around is a no-no that will probably result in ground contact. When safely established in a climb and flaps are set for take off, 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.

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."

Mark:

"You referred to problem areas on go-arounds, Bob. What are the common mistakes?"

Bob:

"Well Mark, we've already made reference to several, but the biggest problem is waiting too late. Be proactive. Good judgment calls for us to recognize when we are falling behind and take positive action. Remember, doing a go-around is a positive maneuver, not a negative one!

Many pilots are reluctant to pitch the aircraft to a positive climb attitude. Remember, we really want to put some separation between us and the ground. Fly the airplane safely away from the ground as airspeed permits."

Next week's tip: Aviation weather