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5 Common Mistakes Made During IFR Missed Approaches

This story was made in partnership with Envoy Air. Check out the full series here. Ready to apply? Submit your application here.

When was the last time you flew a missed approach?

1) Missing the NOTAMs

NOTAMs are a big deal in the IFR world, especially if you're flying into an airport without ATC to back you up. Additions and changes are frequently made to missed approach procedures due to things like VORs being out of service, or minimums changing. Always check your NOTAMs.

2) Misreading The Procedure

There's a big difference between "climb to 3,000, then left turn direct XXXXX" and "climbing left turn to 3,000 direct XXXXX." Back yourself up by studying the graphic depictions.

3) Mentally Picture The Missed Approach

Have a visualization of what the missed approach will look and feel like. Are you going to climb, turn, etc? Which direction is your first turn?

4) Descending Below Minimums

Descending all the way to minimums is a rarity for most IFR pilots. Keep your eye on your altitude, and go missed at your missed approach point. Pilots can get lulled into expectancy bias when they're so used to breaking out of the clouds.

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5) Forgetting The Airplane's Missed Approach Procedure/Callouts

During your approach briefing, always plan an approach to missed until a landing is assured. Review the procedure and callouts to make sure you won't freeze and forget an important step.

Live from the Flight Deck

What are other mistakes you've seen during missed approaches? Tell us in the comments below.


Ready to launch your airline career? Get started by applying to Envoy Air today.


Swayne Martin

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and a First Officer on the Boeing 757/767 for a Major US Carrier. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines, and flew Embraer 145s at the beginning of his airline career. Swayne is an author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at swayne@boldmethod.com, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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