To: (Separate email addresses with commas)
From: (Your email address)
Message: (Optional)



9 Times You Should Go-Around

You should go-around when...

1) The aircraft ahead of you hasn't exited the runway.

If you don't have adequate separation between you and another airplane occupying the same runway, go-around.


2) You experience severe wind shear.

As the wind shifts from a headwind to a tailwind, your airspeed decreases rapidly, causing a dramatic loss of lift. When this happens, there's no time to think about how to save the landing, just go-around. You need to immediately add power, pitch up a little to arrest your descent rate, and go-around.


3) Air traffic control requests a go-around.

There are a variety of reasons why a tower controller might ask you to go around. It's usually because you don't have adequate separation from another aircraft in front of you, or the runway is no longer clear.

4) You're not flying a stable approach.

On final approach, you should be on-speed, configured for landing, and aligned with the runway's centerline. If you find yourself making large power corrections or directional changes on short final, it's time to go-around.


5) After a hard bounce, go-around to avoid porpoising.

A porpoise landing is a bounced landing that, if not recovered, results in your plane touching down nose first. If you let it continue, it will set your plane off into a series of "jumps" and "dives", like a real porpoise. Porpoise landings can happen when you are flying too fast during touchdown, or if you have too high of a descent rate at touchdown.

Immediately executing a go-around is the safest thing to do. Because porpoise oscillations occur so rapidly, flight control inputs to correct the oscillations are difficult, if not impossible to accomplish.

6) You overshoot your base to final turn.

We've all been there. Maybe it's because you have a tailwind on base. Or maybe it's because you just mis-judged your turn. Either way, you find yourself blasting through the extended centerline of the runway. Go-around and try again.


7) You've floated well past your touchdown point.

Excessive airspeed on roundout leads to floating. Caused in large part by ground effect and wingtip vortices, you've probably had quite a few landings with a little too much float. When floating, gradually adjust pitch to settle the airplane down as airspeed bleeds off. Before you land, pick a go around point somewhere down the runway. If you're not on the ground and braking before that point, go around.


8) You realize you forgot to complete your checklists or you're not configured for landing.

Don't skip or rush checklists. If you forgot, or didn't have time to complete a checklist, go-around and try again.

9) It just doesn't "feel right."

If you're on final and your approach to landing just doesn't feel right, going around is a good option. Give yourself time to get set up again. After all, there's nothing wrong with trying an approach for a second time.

Swayne Martin

Want to learn more about go-arounds, as well as just about every other phase of takeoffs and landings? Sign up for our Mastering Takeoffs and Landings course here.

Corey Komarec

Corey is an Airbus 320 First Officer for a U.S. Major Carrier. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota, and he's been flying since he was 16. You can reach him at

Images Courtesy:

Recommended Stories

Latest Stories

    Load More
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email