vast majority of approaches lead to uneventful landings, but occasionally
a go-around is the right decision. Delaying the go-around to the last
minute or, worse yet, attempting to "salvage" a bad approach,
can lead to trouble. Generally speaking, if a go-around is a consideration,
it is probably warranted. When in doubt, take it around.Although the
circumstances were different in each of the following reports to ASRS,
one phrase is common to all of them- "I should have gone around."
instructor pilot missed an opportunity to demonstrate the right time
and place for a go-around. Instead, both pilots got a deflating lesson
about Newton's First Law of Motion.
pre-solo student and I...were instructed by ATC to enter a right downwind
for Runway 18. After noticing that we were slightly high on base,
I called for a power reduction and lowering of the nose. Our descent
angle was slightly steep and we were gaining some airspeed. After
flaring on the centerline of the runway, we floated for an unusually
long distance and eventually touched down. As the student applied
brakes the tires started to skid, I realized that the throttle was
not all the way back to idle and we were attempting to stop with power
on. I suggested a go around, however the student remained on the brakes
with the tires skidding. At this time I took the controls. Due to
insufficient runway remaining, I reassessed the situation and, with
the throttle fully out to idle, I attempted a turn onto the taxiway
at the end of the runway. There was too much momentum to stop, resulting
in a blown tire and the aircraft skidding onto the grass. No additional
damage occurred. I should have gone around after missing the first
third of the runway.
Well That Ends Well This Time
two reports from air carrier flight crews, the landings worked out OK,
but the pilots were professional enough to realize that similar circumstances
may not always have the same result.
reported a 2,900 foot ceiling and nine miles visibility.... We were
in IMC at 6,000 feet and expecting an eight to ten mile final....
We were given a base turn and descent to 4,000 feet, then 2,000 feet.
I realized we would be high and because of the early turn, deployed
speed brakes to expedite the descent. The controller stated we would
get the airport visually at 2,900 feet as we were descending through
3,000 feet. The Captain told the controller we were still in IMC and
the controller said he would vector us through the Localizer to help
us get down. We leveled at 2,000 feet and were slowing when we got
turned back to the Localizer and we acquired the runway visually.
We were cleared for the visual and began configuring while switching
to tower about two to three miles from the field at 2,000 feet. We
configured to flaps 40 degrees and landed within the first third of
the runway and made the last turnoff. We were configured at 1,000
feet, but power and stabilized approach criteria were not met at 500
feet (on speed, spooled up, and on glide slope). I should have gone
around! In hindsight, we got slam dunked and were behind the aircraft.
The controller said we would get the field at 2,900 feet, but we barely
got it at 2,000 feet. When we cleared the runway, Tower said that
Approach apologized for the close-in, high and tight vector. But,
we allowed ourselves to be pushed into a corner and then didn't make
a go around as required. Stupid. Both the Captain and I allowed our
own judgement (that we could make the landing) to override our training
which called for a go around.... When we got the close-in turn, we
went into "do what we have to in order to make it" mode
and lost sight of company stabilized approach criteria....
During the approach we had visual contact with the airport. At about
four miles the runway was in sight. There was no turbulence or rain.
Tower advised that there was a microburst on Runway 27. About one
mile out, we encountered moderate rain for about 15 seconds. I thought
the previous aircraft had landed, so I continued as no turbulence
or wind shear conditions were being experienced.... I elected to leave
flaps at 15 degrees in case a go around was conducted (normal landing
is 30 degrees flaps). Just as I flared for landing, we began to experience
a strong crosswind from the right.... The aircraft wanted to drift
left during rollout. As we slowed, control was regained and we taxied
off the runway to the ramp. Later, another company pilot (who was
waiting to take off) told me that the preceding and following aircraft
had gone around. As mentioned, I believed the preceding aircraft had
landed. In hindsight, I should have gone around and waited for better
weather conditions.... This incident (although turning out OK) could
have been serious.... The safer course would have been to go around.
All I can say is, I regret my actions and will not hesitate performing
a go-around next time....
the proximity of a parallel taxiway saved this C152 pilot from an expensive
lesson about distractions on final, a go-around would have prevented
any need for an alternate landing areas.
final approach for Runway 5, I was looking down at my notes to see
where the FBO (Fixed Base Operator) was and what ground frequency
I had to use once I landed. When I looked up, I noticed that I was
drifting to the right side of the runway. Instead of landing on the
edge of the runway and on top of the runway lights, I added full power
and raised the nose up a little. I continued to drift to the right
and landed on the taxiway. I should have gone around. Lesson learned:
land the airplane first, then check the ground frequency and FBO.
sampling of recent ASRS reports indicates that non-standard phraseology
and misinterpreted communications continue to be cited as contributing
factors in many incidents. While they cannot address every situation,
the Controller's Handbook (7110.65) and the Airman's Information Manual
provide standardized phraseology that could help eliminate many communication
they were not specifically "cleared" for a visual approach,
this B737 flight crew was led astray by a clearance that left some room
asked if we had [destination] in sight. The First Officer (pilot flying)
pointed to the airport. I told Approach that the airport was in sight.
The controller then asked if we had visual contact with another air
carrier at our one o'clock position, six miles. The First Officer
pointed to the traffic and said, "In sight." I saw the traffic
and reported, "Traffic in sight" to Approach. The controller
then said, "[Company flight number], follow the traffic for the
visual to Runway 29." As we started out of our assigned altitude,
Approach issued a clearance to 5,000 feet. My response was, "I
thought you cleared us for the visual to Runway 29." The controller
pointed out that he wanted us to follow the other carrier. Since our
altitude had not really changed before the descent clearance was issued,
we did not deviate from our clearance. However, we would have. Although
technically correct, the controller's use of unusual, if not "non-standard"
phraseology could have caused a serious altitude deviation.... The
controller should have said, "Follow [the other carrier], maintain
clearance given to this C172 instructor pilot and student may have been
misleading, but the time to clear up any confusion was before crossing
the hold short line.
completing our run-up, we taxied to the hold short line of Runway
16. My student was at the controls in the left seat. He called the
tower saying "Skyhawk holding short Runway 16, ready for takeoff."
The tower replied, "Skyhawk, taxi up and hold." I thought
the tower meant taxi into position and hold...and we crossed the hold
short line. Tower then told us to stop and clear the runway. We complied
immediately, but the inbound plane elected to go around. Factors contributing
to this incident were the use of non-standard phraseology by the tower,
and my failure to verify whether he meant "hold short" or
"taxi into position and hold." To avoid this type of situation
in the future, I will always ask if I am not sure of a clearance,
especially before entering the active runway.
No, You Turn
concise communications are usually preferred over lengthy conversations.
In the case of this flight attendant's request, however, a few additional
words could have prevented the Captain's misinterpretation.
to engine start, company procedure requires securing the cockpit door.
This procedure was followed and the door indicated "locked."
During climb out, the flight attendant called the flight deck. The
Captain answered and after a brief conversation, he instructed me
to level the aircraft and prepare to return to [departure airport]
due to a disturbance in the cabin. During the descent, the Captain
assumed control of the aircraft. As we were nearing [destination],
the flight attendant called the flight deck to ask if we were landing.
I replied that we were. The Captain took this opportunity to get additional
information regarding the situation in the cabin. She advised him
that the only problem was that the cockpit door was open. The door
was then secured and the flight continued to its original destination.
Apparently in her initial report to the Captain, the flight attendant
had simply stated, "Turn around." Her intent was for the
Captain to see the open door, but the Captain perceived her comment
to mean that the flight was in jeopardy and the aircraft should be
turned around and returned to [departure airport].
is with great sadness that we relate the death of Captain Rex
Hardy, the founding editor of Callback. Rex was 88 when he passed
away on April 7 at his home in Monterey, CA.
Hardy was a decorated Naval Aviator, test pilot for Northrop Aviation,
and Chief Pilot at Lockheed before joining the team at NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System. Rex published the first issue
of Callback in July, 1979 with the intent to provide an "interesting,
instructive, and even-sometimes-entertaining" safety bulletin.
Callback's continuing contribution to aviation safety is the result
of Rex Hardy's vision, originality, and determination.