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Go-around... how frequently does this happen?

Go-around... how frequently does this happen?

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Old Dec 12, 18, 8:56 am
  #46  
 
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Commercial flights - I can remember 4. 3 at LHR and one at ZRH in a snowstorm. All the LHR missed approaches were due to prior arrivals not vacating.

Whilst doing my PPL at Denham, probably 2 or 3 an hour until I cracked the approach

Although once I'd got my ticket I had to bale out of an approach at short finals after the Harrods helicopter kindly flew right across leaving a particularly nasty dose of wake turbulence. The controller was most upset with him !
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Old Dec 12, 18, 8:57 am
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It is a very normal experience, just rare! I had a BA into LHR earlier this year because the aircraft ahead was not clear of the runway. Had two TOGA's about three years ago on the BA into BHD because of quite nasty winds - followed by a divert to DUB and bus north (BFS having the same problem).
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Old Dec 12, 18, 9:25 am
  #48  
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I'd never had one in about 1,000 flights, but have had 6 in the last couple of years. The number is slightly exaggerated due to a lunatic Saudia Captain being determined to land in Riyadh in the middle of a sandstorm and only learning third time around that it might be better to wait for 10 minutes until the runway was clear.
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Old Dec 12, 18, 10:10 am
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Yeoman5 View Post
Had an eventful landing on the BA flight from LUX last night. The aircraft was on final approach on 09L and had passed T5 on the starboard side when the pilot revved up the engines for a go-around. Apparently there was an aircraft on the runway (as the pilot calmly announced as she completed the left turn).

Curious to hear from those who may know how frequently go-arounds occur (it's my second such event in 30 years of travelling).

It happens frequently. I experience it an average of once a month, and I fly about 4 times a month.
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Old Dec 12, 18, 10:15 am
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had 3 go arounds one flight LAX JFK and then it diverted from JFK to Syracuse. One flight - storm related JFK.

It was fun, but mainly cos I had a few glasses of wine before hand!

On a serious note, I prefer the pilot does a go-around if needed, much much safer.

EDIT : I should say by the third attempt we didn't get near the runway at all - I think the pilot at that stage had given up and ATC stopped planes landing. We did land safely actually in JFK eventually, after the diversion for refuel and allow customers off the plane for 30 mins or so. When we did land in JFK 5 hours late or so, it was a perfect landing! Couldn't make it up!

Last edited by crazyarmadillo; Dec 12, 18 at 10:28 am
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Old Dec 12, 18, 10:26 am
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I've had two in 476 flights.

Once into LGW with Aer Lingus and once into LCY with British Airways.

Both non-events and fun - it certainly shuts up a talkative cabin pretty quickly!
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Old Dec 12, 18, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
AF1180 F-GRHO, according to FR24. You were following at just under 2 (statute) miles behind, although I don't know whether that's closer than normal.

I did once watch an entirely predictable go-around from the T4 lounge when a cargo MD-11 seemed rather closer than usual to the 737 ahead of it. It was a perfect day, so the MD-11 crew just carried right on down to (presumably) their decision height (?50 feet), and then off they went around the circuit.
Minimum separation for LHR would be 2.5NM so that was normal.

Decision height is for instrument landing and not separation. As low as you can go without letting the wheels touch the runway is the decision height in your scenario. While remaining 2.5NM from the aircraft in question or 500ft above it of course. Thus the reason we just go around once over the runway.
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Old Dec 12, 18, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by bankops View Post
Minimum separation for LHR would be 2.5NM so that was normal.

Decision height is for instrument landing and not separation. As low as you can go without letting the wheels touch the runway is the decision height in your scenario. While remaining 2.5NM from the aircraft in question or 500ft above it of course. Thus the reason we just go around once over the runway.
Can that 2.5nm minimum separation can be less than that with TBS?
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Old Dec 12, 18, 11:28 am
  #54  
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Originally Posted by bankops View Post
Decision height is for instrument landing and not separation. As low as you can go without letting the wheels touch the runway is the decision height in your scenario. While remaining 2.5NM from the aircraft in question or 500ft above it of course. Thus the reason we just go around once over the runway.
Thanks! So it doesn't make any difference that by the time you're over the threshold you're much less than 500 feet above and 2.5 NM away from the aircraft that's landed ahead of you but not yet vacated?
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Old Dec 12, 18, 11:36 am
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True, but then he is on the ground and thus does not count for mid-air separation. Thus 500ft as opposed to 2.5nm in the air. I was taking shortcuts, but fair call.
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Old Dec 12, 18, 11:37 am
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I don't recall having ever gone around whilst onboard... however I've instructed a few to do it!

Having skim-read the replies so far the reasons/numbers stack up about right:

The main reason for a go-around (at LHR) is the previous arrival not having vacated in time - being so capacity constrained we have to get them as close as we legally can, and there will be many times where a second literally makes all the difference. It's a 100% safe and standard procedure; If I instruct or an aircraft reports going around I know what they are going to do in terms of climbing/turning without any communication between us. This hopefully allows the flight deck to concentrate on the increased workload for that short period of time.

At the moment there are taxiway works which necessitate the closure of the main short-haul type aircraft exit when using 09L (approach over Windsor). This means that everyone has to roll a few 100m further down to vacate - nearly all do it quickly and efficiently - and we have had to widen out the gaps inbound to allow for this, but sometimes it just doesn't work.

Other reasons can be - windshear, turbulence, crossing traffic not clear, debris, lights, weather, emergency traffic, animals... the list goes on.

One or two go-arounds a day is about right - I recall one day in strong wind of 43 go-arounds a few years back. The tower was swaying a bit...
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Old Dec 12, 18, 11:41 am
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Can that 2.5nm minimum separation can be less than that with TBS?
No. TBS is only allowed to provide the equivalent time adjusted for the wind, down to 2.5nm. The minimum radar separation is still 2.5nm, BUT in the tower we can use other visual separation with caveats less than 2.5nm. This is usually when one is flying a different speed, good weather and both in communication with us. Anything less than 2nm will result in a go around as there wont be time for the first aircraft to get off the runway.
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Old Dec 12, 18, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Can that 2.5nm minimum separation can be less than that with TBS?
LHR has been using TBS since 2015 but this only has distance impacts during high wind situations. So unless TBS operations were being conducted at that time AND there were high winds, 2.5nm remains the correct distance between the a/c.

Last edited by bankops; Dec 12, 18 at 11:42 am Reason: added winds
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Old Dec 12, 18, 11:51 am
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Most unusual I've experienced was a go-around due to a sizable dust devil swirling at the runway threshold on an approach into PHX on a hot summer day.
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Old Dec 12, 18, 12:00 pm
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I can recall at least 8 (in somewhere in the region of 2.500 flights or so).

The most exciting one was at an airstrip in Tanzania on a "single-engined safari-camp-taxi" - we had to go around at the last minute because a few zebra had wandered over the perimiter and seemed to be enjoying playing around on the airstrip.
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