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Experiences on UA with aborted takeoffs, landings, go-arounds, .... [Consolidated]

Experiences on UA with aborted takeoffs, landings, go-arounds, .... [Consolidated]

Old Dec 5, 15, 9:31 pm
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I always liked Ch9 on UA as was reassuring that you heard the tower or pilots call for the go around and that was the reason we were rocketing upwards from 50-100 feet. A couple times I told my clueless, panicked seat mate with the horrified look..."it's ok, we have to go around."

Worst ever was on South African after more than 24 hours of uneventful long haul travel trying to land in a 737 at Port Elizabeth. After the final and smooth flight from JNB, As we descended over the Karoo and hit the shore there was a huge wind thud on fuselage as we entered into a gale with no warning from the pilots. Proceeded over the sea with plane shaking rather violently and lots of wind thuds and thumps on the fuselage. Line up for the runway; swaying and shimiing continuously...get down to about 300 feet and go round with the rocket up in really bad turbulence...smooth out over Karoo again...then repeat the same exact flight path with the Exact same experience and result... except this time going straight ahead and diverting to George for an hour.

After apparently regrouping and despite most of the passengers, including me, asking if we could get off plane and take a bus or taxi, we roared into the air again... and fortunately third time was a charm as pilots repeated the same approach /experience but "muscled" through the wind gusts below 300ft and landed the plane with nose down...leveling about flat with a big thud right on the runway.

The funny thing for one of worst landings ever...everyone broke out into simultaneous cheers and applause as soon as the reverse thrust came on and it was clear we weren't sliding or cartwheeling down the runway

Last edited by mike1968; Dec 5, 15 at 9:36 pm
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Old Dec 6, 15, 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Three go arounds for me, but I think I'll take three of them over aborted take-off or emergency landing @:-)
For me, I think it's the "this is unusual and I don't know what's happening" combination that I don't like, and the go-around had that feeling for 2-3 minutes (I don't blame the pilots at all for doing what they need to do and not communicating... I knew that would likely be the case). The aborted take-off had that feeling, but only for maybe 10 seconds or less (I did wonder for a second or two whether we were about to hit another plane, though...).

On the emergency landings, the crew did a great job of communicating, so I felt like at least I knew what was happening. The first one was probably the more serious situation. Took off out of ORD and leveled off much too soon. Pilot got on and said we were leaking hydraulic fluid and needed to go back and land. I was only 22 so didn't have much flying experience (it was my first flight for my first post-college job), so was pretty calm about it, in part because the crew was so calm. I did see the emergency vehicles lining the runway before we landed though and that made me think, huh, this is actually maybe a big deal. It almost seems counter-intuitive, but now, with 15 years of frequent flying under my belt, it would probably freak me out more than it did then.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 2:09 pm
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Originally Posted by luckypierre View Post
Those puffs of black smoke are the plugs melting and releasing pressure? I assume they are quite small and designed to allow the tire to retain some pressure over a brief span of time than immediately deflate
Yes, the black pops you see are the plugs melting and releasing air pressure and blowing a bit of carbon dust from the brakes. The tire is deflated in seconds.

The larger explosions of black dust seen are a result of the wheel rims failing before the fuse plugs melt. Airbus reinforced the wheels and added heat-shielding around the brake discs following the test failure.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 4:11 pm
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Originally Posted by physioprof View Post
Must have been very close to the go-no-go point. Any sense for whether the tires locked up and skidded?
Can't say for sure, but there were definitely skid marks on the runway (and my head came very close to the bulkhead in front of me, even with seatbelt fully tightened).

I can't remember the exact date, but it would have been somewhere in the late 80s/early 90s, when there were several notable DC-10 incidents/accidents. There may have been extra sensitivity at that time...
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Old Dec 6, 15, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by LarryJ View Post
The wheels don't lock up. That's what the antilock brakes are for. The tires fail due to the heat generated during the rejected takeoff. The tires have fuse plugs which melt and release the pressure in the tires to prevent them from failing explosively.
Cool. Thanks for further information!

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 6, 15 at 7:09 pm Reason: for folks with small screens aviod unneeded requotes of images
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Old Dec 7, 15, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by climmy View Post
Ding Ding. Winner.

Listening to SFO LiveATC this happens all the time...And by that I mean almost every day, if not every day [parallel approaches are allowed]
Was interesting... waiting for my flight out of SFO last weekend, listening to the tower, and watched them order a go-around for a DL flight landing on 28L. Interesting to see the pilot stories too - definitely seems like an issue at SFO.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 9:39 am
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[2015-12-9] UA #771 Aborted Landing EWR

Was on 771 yesterday DFW-EWR 737-800 landing at EWR at 6:00 on 22 left.

Landing was normal.. Hit runway.. Started to slow down going down 22, went back to full throttle quickly, and back up in air and around for 20 mins until we landed again.

After back up in the air for about 2 mins, pilot got on and said the aircraft in front of us hadn't vacated the runway in time so was worried about a collision.

Never had this happen before. Anyone have this happen before?

Also, as there was no channel 9, is there a site out there I can hear the ATC-pilot exchange when this happened. Again, it was right at 6:00 PM last night.

Kudos to the flight deck for a job well done and quick thinking!
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Old Dec 10, 15, 9:51 am
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I've had a few loss of separation go arounds before. I'd imagine most who fly much have.

As for the ATC - go and listen to LiveATC. They will definitely have it.

Edit: LiveATC feed indicates that ATC sent your flight around, not your pilot, as traffic had, indeed, not vacated the runway.

Last edited by N1120A; Dec 10, 15 at 10:06 am
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Old Dec 10, 15, 11:45 am
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What? The aircraft had touched the ground, and they went around? I would think that at that point, braking for your life (1000-2000 ft required) would avoid a crash more than taking off (3000-4000 ft required)...
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Old Dec 10, 15, 11:45 am
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This is not uncommon at all. I've experienced this a few times myself. At the big hubs ofcourse
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Old Dec 10, 15, 12:26 pm
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Originally Posted by TA View Post
What? The aircraft had touched the ground, and they went around? I would think that at that point, braking for your life (1000-2000 ft required) would avoid a crash more than taking off (3000-4000 ft required)...
Yes we hit the ground. Wheels down. Then throttle up and wheels up
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Old Dec 10, 15, 12:28 pm
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Here's the recording. The go-around is initiated at 5:53 into the recording.


The go-around was probably initiated before the wheels touched down. It takes several seconds for the engines to spool up so it might not have felt that way. Once you touchdown and the spoilers and reversers are deployed you are not going to go-around.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 10, 15 at 12:32 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Dec 10, 15, 12:44 pm
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I've had a couple of experiences with go arounds. Worst was at JFK in 2009 on B6. We were one of the last flights to land in heavy snow conditions. An AI flight thought the airport was already closed and taxied across our runway. We were about 20 feet up when the pilots throttled up and had a pretty good pushback into our seats. Lots of OMG's and screaming when it happened. Most go arounds are uneventful and sometimes even unnoticeable.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 12:46 pm
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One of the most frustrating go-arounds ever: SFO-SYD after 14 hours in the air, plane ahead doesn't get their tail off the runway turnoff in time. Another 20 minutes fuel burned. I wonder if the captains can sometimes feel the extra $ racking up because of someone else's failure to move quickly. And they don't get reimbursed (in time, money, or misconnects) for someone else's mistake!
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Old Dec 11, 15, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by NgatesSEA View Post
In many cases, when it is go-around time, it is go time. That is to say, there is some genuine urgency/time sensitivity to one aircraft clearing a flightpath or airspace. I recorded a video on a UA 757 going around at SFO a couple of years ago Was caused by loss of separation and we were just coming into SFO from SAN, so fairly light to start with but the climb is steep indeed and the pattern flown on go-arounds does seem dramatic to those of us who fly a fair amount and are used to "normal" aircraft operations.
Uh, yeah, did a 777 Go Around at SFO in heavy fog at night. That was not take off power, in fact, I asked and they said they used max power and it sounded, and felt like it. On that one we were told the aircraft behind us got too close and we hurried out of the way.

I've had 10 Go Arounds, 2 RTOs. All that in 1.85 million miles. They do feel more routine when they happen now, but that 777 at SFO was nothing remotely "normal" in profile, attitude, speed or power.
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