CHAPTER 11. Approaches and Landings

Go-Around ( Rejected Landings)

Whenever landing conditions are not satisfactory, a go-around is warranted. There are many factors that can contribute to unsatisfactory landing conditions. Situations such as ATC requirements, unexpected appearance of hazards on the runway, overtaking another aircraft, wind shear, wake turbulence, mechanical failure and/or an unstabilized approach are all examples of reasons to discontinue a landing approach and make another approach under more favorable conditions. The assumption that an aborted landing is invariably the consequence of a poor approach, which in turn is due to insuffi cient experience or skill, is a fallacy. The go-around is not strictly an emergency procedure. It is a normal maneuver that may at times be used in an emergency situation. Like any other normal maneuver, the go-around must be practiced and perfected. The fl ight instructor should emphasize early in the student pilotís training that the go-around maneuver is an alternative to any approach and/or landing.

Although the need to discontinue a landing may arise at any point in the landing process, the most critical go-around is one started when very close to the ground. Therefore, the earlier a condition that warrants a go-around is recognized, the safer the go-around/rejected landing is. The go-around maneuver is not inherently dangerous in itself. It becomes dangerous only when delayed unduly or executed improperly. Delay in initiating the go-around normally stems from one or both of two sources:

  • Landing expectancy or setóthe anticipatory belief that conditions are not as threatening as they are and that the approach will surely be terminated with a safe landing, and
  • Prideóthe mistaken belief that the act of going around is an admission of failure to execute the approach properly. The improper execution of the go-around maneuver stems from a lack of familiarity with the two cardinal principles of the procedure: power and speed.


Power is the pilotís fi rst concern. The instant the pilot decides to go around, full or maximum allowable takeoff power must be applied smoothly and without hesitation and held until fl ying speed and controllability are restored. Applying only partial power in a go-around is never appropriate unless the WSC aircraft is at an unusually high pitch angle. The pilot must be aware of the degree of inertia that must be overcome before an aircraft that is settling toward the ground can regain suffi cient airspeed to become fully controllable and capable of turning safely or climbing. The application of power should be smooth as well as positive. Abrupt movements of the throttle in some aircrafts causes the engine to falter.


Speed is always critical when close to the ground. When power is added, a deliberate effort on the part of the pilot is required to keep the nose from pitching up prematurely. The aircraft executing a go-around must be maintained well beyond the stall point before any effort is made to gain altitude or to execute a turn. Raising the nose too early may produce a stall from which the aircraft could not recover if the go-around is performed at a low altitude. The manufacturerís recommended climb speed should be established and maintained during the initial phase of the go around.

A concern for quickly regaining altitude during a go-around produces a natural tendency to push the nose up. The pilot executing a go-around must accept the fact that an aircraft will not climb until it can fl y, and it will not fl y below stall speed. In some circumstances, it may be desirable to lower the nose briefl y to gain airspeed. [Figure 11-21]

During the initial part of an extremely low go-around, the aircraft may settle onto the runway and bounce. This situation is not particularly dangerous if the aircraft is kept straight and a constant, safe speed is maintained. The aircraft is rapidly approaching safe fl ying speed and the advanced power will cushion any secondary touchdown.

Common errors in the performance of go-around (rejected landings) are:

  • Failure to recognize a condition that warrants a rejected landing,
  • Indecision,
  • Delay in initiating a go-round,
  • Failure to apply maximum allowable power in a timely manner,
  • Improper speed,
  • Attempting to climb out of ground effect prematurely, and
  • Failure to adequately compensate for torque/Pfactor.
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