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Giving Go-Arounds The Run-Around

Source:, Featuring Bob Martens

Subscriber Question:

"Why are pilots so reluctant to perform go-arounds?" - Marty O.


"I think there are two very important reasons why pilots are reluctant to perform go-arounds.

First, there is a negative perception surrounding go-arounds that defies logic. Instead of viewing a go-around as a positive tool to correct an unsafe or uncomfortable situation, pilots feel that it is an admission of a screw up and demonstrates to passengers or even those on the ground that we messed up. Admit it, don't we think just that if we see someone go-around on short final? This is such a false message and must be overcome. Go-arounds are a valuable tool to pilots and must be considered an option at all times!

Second, go-arounds are not routinely practiced by pilots and as a result, many pilots have not integrated them into their flying repertoire. Just think about all the bad and dangerous landings that could have been avoided by a judicious go-around. We must therefore integrate go-arounds into our flying so that we are comfortable and confident that we can perform them safely when needed.

I remember on check rides that go-arounds had a very high failure rate, not because they were inherently difficult but that they were only performed once a year, on the check ride! Additionally, because they are not always anticipated, we tend to rush the process which never helps.

The sequence of adding power, transitioning to a climb, managing flaps and gear, and making radio calls often gets confused. Simply talking through your plan of attack for a go-around will help you be ready for this very important event."

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