What about go arounds

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peterdillon
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What about go arounds

#1 Post by peterdillon » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:21 pm

Couple of months ago two friends of ours at our air park were coming in to land in an RV7 in a high wind and initially touched down very hard but didn't collapse the gear. They attempted a go around but never really got fully airborne in the remaining runway, cleared the road at the end of the runway but hooked the fence on the other side of the road with the gear. Aircraft went inverted and both pilots broke there necks. Very lucky and are recovering. I have noticed many newer pilots are very quick to go around and consequently it seems to me are coming into to land kind of half committed with the idea of keeping their options open. I think there are many serious and fatal accidents that are the result of high speed impacts that could have been avoided if pilots were really more committed to land and go around was less of an option. My thought is a crash at around stall speed on flat ground is a better option unless there is a real solid reason to open the tap. Wondering if this may be a byproduct of touch and goes done in training on long runways with lightly loaded aircraft. We trained on short dirt strips so learned to come in committed as touch and go was not an option. I have had to ad power for different reasons but can't honestly ever remember having to go around. Did practice going around in 185's at max gross + and do remember that fairly well. Not that I am young but maybe some of the old boys can lend some advice that will help us get some brainstorming going and avoid some of these types of accidents.
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Re: What about go arounds

#2 Post by ahramin » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:58 pm

Glad to hear your friends are recovering. Sounds to me like the problem described here is a lack of aircraft control, not pilot decision making. The idea that it's safer to turn what should be a normal occurrence (bounce on landing) into a crash straight ahead rather than a go around because they are dangerous is certainly not an idea I would endorse. A go around need not result in an accident but like anything it can be a difficult for private pilots if they haven't done any in a while. This is an exercise I include in every checkout and it always amazes me how big a difference in pilot performance there is between the first one and the second one, usually because the first one is the first one in a very long time.

A bounce on a short strip is an automatic go around for me. This discussion does bring up a good point though: When is it too late for a go-around? Personally in aircraft without reverse I consider a go-around as no longer an option once I have started braking.
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Re: What about go arounds

#3 Post by digits_ » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:03 pm

ahramin wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:58 pm
Personally in aircraft without reverse I consider a go-around as no longer an option once I have started braking.
What is the link between having reverse and a go-around?
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Re: What about go arounds

#4 Post by ahramin » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:05 pm

No link digits. The link is between having reverse and making the decision to go around. With reverse, no go around after deploying reverse. Without reverse it's not so clear, so personally I use brake application as the point where I'm no longer considering a go around.
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Re: What about go arounds

#5 Post by digits_ » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:12 pm

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Re: What about go arounds

#6 Post by Eric Janson » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:58 pm

digits_ wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:03 pm
ahramin wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:58 pm
Personally in aircraft without reverse I consider a go-around as no longer an option once I have started braking.
What is the link between having reverse and a go-around?
For both Boeing and airbus - you are committed to the landing after selecting reverse. This is due to different rates of reverser stowage and handling problems due to asymetric thrust.
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Re: What about go arounds

#7 Post by Eric Janson » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:13 am

peterdillon wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:21 pm
Couple of months ago two friends of ours at our air park were coming in to land in an RV7 in a high wind and initially touched down very hard but didn't collapse the gear. They attempted a go around but never really got fully airborne in the remaining runway, cleared the road at the end of the runway but hooked the fence on the other side of the road with the gear. Aircraft went inverted and both pilots broke there necks. Very lucky and are recovering. I have noticed many newer pilots are very quick to go around and consequently it seems to me are coming into to land kind of half committed with the idea of keeping their options open. I think there are many serious and fatal accidents that are the result of high speed impacts that could have been avoided if pilots were really more committed to land and go around was less of an option. My thought is a crash at around stall speed on flat ground is a better option unless there is a real solid reason to open the tap. Wondering if this may be a byproduct of touch and goes done in training on long runways with lightly loaded aircraft. We trained on short dirt strips so learned to come in committed as touch and go was not an option. I have had to ad power for different reasons but can't honestly ever remember having to go around. Did practice going around in 185's at max gross + and do remember that fairly well. Not that I am young but maybe some of the old boys can lend some advice that will help us get some brainstorming going and avoid some of these types of accidents.
There are far more accidents and incidents because people didn't go-around when they should have. The key is not to leave the decision too late. There is nothing complicated about a go-around imho. It's part of normal operations.

In your example of a short dirt strip that is too short for a touch and go - if you are high and fast on final then that should also result in a go-around. Too often people will try to salvage a bad approach instead of making a go-around and setting up for a second approach.

I have flown large jets into airports with no go-around after a certain point - you need to be sure speed and altitude are where they should be and that surface conditions are suitable.
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Re: What about go arounds

#8 Post by nightbird » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:15 am

Without having any details here I would say the problem happened a little further back with an unstable approach. Why was there insufficient runway to get airborne, how fast was the airplane going, maybe high on profile and touch down further down the touch down zone or 1/3 of the runway?
Give yourself a gate, I would recommend 500agl, be stable (final landing config and approach speed) or go around.
If at any point below 500agl the above criteria for a stable approach is not met, go around.
In general people are very goal oriented, you wanna finish the task(landing) and we think we can fix it even though is a less than desirable state. To make it worst sometimes we do get away with it, but sometimes we don’t.
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Re: What about go arounds

#9 Post by peterdillon » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:47 am

Guess I should clarify that I was talking more about go around in the final landing phase when ready to touch down not from just lower altitudes. As far as our friends go I don't really know how they got that far down the runway without getting airborne again. The airport is at 7000 ft in Colorado and it was very windy ( my guess well over 50 Kts) with lots of turbulence so they knew they had there hands full in that little RV7. The aircraft was probably damaged some on the initial impact.
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Re: What about go arounds

#10 Post by Eric Janson » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:52 am

peterdillon wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:47 am
The airport is at 7000 ft in Colorado and it was very windy ( my guess well over 50 Kts) with lots of turbulence so they knew they had there hands full in that little RV7. The aircraft was probably damaged some on the initial impact.
Doesn't sound like a good combination in a light aircraft - perhaps the smart choice would have been to delay this flight until conditions improved.

A number of years ago our dispatch was going to send us on an 11 hour flight with forecast winds on arrival being 65 knots at 90 degrees to the runway. We advised them we'd be delaying the flight 24h.
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Re: What about go arounds

#11 Post by telex » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:28 am

Questionable decision making to land given the conditions.
Possibly touched down well down the runway making a go-around risky.
Possibly damaged the aircraft on the initial attempted landing.
Clipped a fence on a go-around resulting in a crash.

A properly flown go-around avoids all of this.
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Re: What about go arounds

#12 Post by C.W.E. » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:47 pm

We trained on short dirt strips so learned to come in committed as touch and go was not an option.
The above is confusing and I don't understand it.

If the strip was long enough to take off from why is a touch and go not an option?
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Re: What about go arounds

#13 Post by peterdillon » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:31 pm

It was a 1700 ft cross wind strip not used for takeoff but just for landing in the unpredictable winds there. There is a windsock at each end of the main runway and quite often they are flying in different directions. Winds can change direction there in the time it takes to do a circuit and can go from dead calm to strong in a few minutes. They did touch down fairly close to the threshold and with that much head wind had lots of room but with the amount of turbulence and the type of aircraft a wing may have touched the ground etc. At 7000 agl some of those higher speed little machines don't exactly jump back in the air. Maybe a better question in terms of go around is what situation have you been in or seen that would help others make better decisions when in a split second its one or the other.
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Re: What about go arounds

#14 Post by Beefitarian » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:19 am

For me a go around is used to fix a bad approach. I can tell my touch down point is not going to be where it should be.

That could be because of winds or I just made some errors that ended up putting the plane in a spot where I would land too far away from the numbers. Maybe I'm just not slowed down enough.

Cross wind or not, if I am not lined up at the center line, slowed down and flaring to touch down as near the numbers as possible in comfortable control of the plane. Unless I'm in a 172 with a few thousand feet of remaining runway ahead to get that way, it's time to "go around" and set things up better for a chance of a semi decent landing.

I might go around after a bounce but I should have went around before it.

I'm not afraid to be teased for being a bad pilot/chicken and going around. The last one I did I apologized and the controller said, "That's ok. We like that better than going off the end of a runway." Sounds like I waited too long to decide. :oops:
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Re: What about go arounds

#15 Post by Redneck_pilot86 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:54 pm

was a go around possible? I know noting about the RV, but 7000' ASL is getting pretty high for any N/A light aircraft to get a positive climb rate from slow speed, especially at full flap as I expect would be the case with a aircraft intending to land (although maybe not in high wind)
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Re: What about go arounds

#16 Post by photofly » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:09 pm

From Van’s website, even the 160hp RV7 claims a sea level rate of climb of 1400fpm and a ceiling of 18,500’ at maximum gross weight. A go around at 7000’ sounds feasible.
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Re: What about go arounds

#17 Post by HiFlyChick » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:56 pm

peterdillon wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:21 pm
I have noticed many newer pilots are very quick to go around and consequently it seems to me are coming into to land kind of half committed with the idea of keeping their options open. I think there are many serious and fatal accidents that are the result of high speed impacts that could have been avoided if pilots were really more committed to land and go around was less of an option...
Truthfully, these statements scare the heck out of me. I can't imagine the group of pilots that you're flying with that are quick to go-around when it's not required. I have never (and I'm not exaggerating, I mean NEVER) known a pilot or group of pilots to have the problem of being too willing to abandon the approach. Way back in my instructing days, we tried to beat the option of the overshoot into our students, and still we saw the occasional one get into trouble because he was so focused on getting it on the ground no matter what.

I think what you are condemning as the willingness to perform an overshoot is in fact, the indecision of performing the overshoot combined with just plain leaving it too late. I recall a fatal accident out west a number of years ago where the wind switched round on the approach to become a strong tailwind, and the pilots didn't decide to overshoot until it was far too late. They initiated the overshoot after a touch, and ended up hitting the trees at the far end, resulting in the death of the F/O. The error in that case is not in doing the overshoot, but in waiting too long to do it. If I'm at my home airport with 10,000+ ft of runway ahead of me, and am too high (or something similar) as I cross the threshold, I have the luxury of sorting out whatever and salvaging the landing (within reason), even after the touchdown. If I'm at an airport with a 1400 ft runway, the decision to overshoot needs to be made long before the threshold, and in the case of obstacles at the end of a short runway, even further back (i.e. before descending below the point where you can no longer out-climb the terrain).

Yes, there are such things as one-way runways, where you are committed as soon as you enter the valley, but in that case, the decision is not even so much as to overshoot, but whether to even commence the approach or the flight to begin with, given the current weather conditions.

I'm really glad the pilots about which you spoke are recovering, and in no way want to add to their misery, but in the face of such a terrible accident, it's good if we can have a discussion that will ultimately prevent others from getting into the same painful situation
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Re: What about go arounds

#18 Post by geneticistx » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:06 pm

Go arounds are your friend.
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Re: What about go arounds

#19 Post by Dave Hadfield » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:56 pm

A Go-Around is not an emergency maneuver -- it prevents one.
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Re: What about go arounds

#20 Post by C.W.E. » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:20 pm

A go around is a normal event when you find the approach is unsatisfactory, if you wait to long and end up wrecking your airplane it was because you did not plan ahead properly for the approach, landing and possible wind changes.

As to landing in the first one third of the runway that is nonsense.

Using that criteria I could have landed at the five thousand foot point of one of the runways I used to fly out of.
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Re: What about go arounds

#21 Post by telex » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:38 pm

C.W.E. wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:20 pm
A go around is a normal event when you find the approach is unsatisfactory, if you wait to long and end up wrecking your airplane it was because you did not plan ahead properly for the approach, landing and possible wind changes.

As to landing in the first one third of the runway that is nonsense.

Using that criteria I could have landed at the five thousand foot point of one of the runways I used to fly out of.
Ever landed your 777 5000' down a runway?
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Re: What about go arounds

#22 Post by HiFlyChick » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:07 pm

telex wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:38 pm
C.W.E. wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:20 pm
A go around is a normal event when you find the approach is unsatisfactory, if you wait to long and end up wrecking your airplane it was because you did not plan ahead properly for the approach, landing and possible wind changes.

As to landing in the first one third of the runway that is nonsense.

Using that criteria I could have landed at the five thousand foot point of one of the runways I used to fly out of.
Ever landed your 777 5000' down a runway?
I think you missed the point.... he's saying that depending on the aircraft, landing in the first third is not good enough. If you're in something small on a giant runway and your only goal is to land in the first third, you're not exercising enough discipline. If you get sloppy on the big runways, you may find yourself in trouble when you suddenly find yourself on a small one.
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Re: What about go arounds

#23 Post by Cat Driver » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:08 pm

I think you missed the point.... he's saying that depending on the aircraft, landing in the first third is not good enough. If you're in something small on a giant runway and your only goal is to land in the first third, you're not exercising enough discipline. If you get sloppy on the big runways, you may find yourself in trouble when you suddenly find yourself on a small one.
Exactly, that is how I read it as it is only common sense.
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Re: What about go arounds

#24 Post by dpm » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:21 am

I don't feel any need to be locked and loaded to go around on every approach, but I don't find it psychologically difficult to do when I need to. It's just a simple, routine thing, like correcting for a crosswind or getting a new vector from ATC.

I see the OP's point that we can make too big a deal of it to new pilots, so that they're stressed and nervous about it, but at the same time, there's nothing wrong with making the go-around choice while you're still in the air. Once the wheels are in the runway, the decision is more complicated: if I made a hard landing, I'd rather roll through the fence at 20 it than climb out praying that my wings are undamaged.

Some of the reasons I've gone around:

- my initial flight instructor used to love to yell "BABY ON THE RUNWAY!!!" just as I was crossing the fence
- Tower asked me to
- geese on the runway
- cut off on short final by a rude helicopter (wake turbulence)
- taildragger ahead of me decided to taxi the full length of the runway at ~5kt instead of exiting promptly
- some one pulled out onto the runway without looking while I was on short final
- I didn't like the look of the surface ahead of me, and converted my approach into an inspection pass

Agreed that it would be good to mute the hysteria about this (esp from AOPA); it's just normal, boring ol' flying.
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