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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Go-Around... but what if you're clean?

In the old days the go-around procedure was "TOGA, Flaps, Gear"... but airlines are now shifting to activating managed NAV before gear and flaps. Why?

This change is due to RNP procedures. In the Airbus when activating TOGA puts the plane into track mode. When performing RNP approaches, navigating through high terrain in the containment area, we need to make sure she is navigating in managed Nav. Thus it's essential to activate managed Nav after you've selected TOGA and get her navigating on the prescribed course.

    But what if we're on approach a RNP 20 mile approach--- still clean--- and they close the runway because Colossal Airlines blew tires.

    What happens if you select TOGA in a clean configuration?
    • Nothing but a whole lot of thrust and a great deal of aggravation.
    She will not transition to go-around and she won't climb. A better choice is to select the missed approach altitude and select open climb. This will enable you to climb to the required altitude and disarm the final approach, enabling your princess to navigate the lateral track for your required missed approach.Yes, you'll have to re-insert the approach, but that's easy when you're safely away from the ground managing the mass.

    Do you have any go-around experiences you'd like to share?

    Enjoy the Journey!

    ~ Karlene


    1. Interesting post...
      For an intermediate G/A, we train our pilots to select TOGA very briefly followed by pushing ALT. Then open CLB or DESC can be performed while the flight plan is retained. One does not need to wait for TOGA thrust to be established, since the TL position is an electrical switch, a very brief selection to TOGA and then straight back to CLB is fine.

      Note also that Airbus recently changed the normal G/A sequence. Reading the FMA, needs to be done before the positive climb call by the PNF. This is due to 2 serious G/A incidents in the recent past.

      Hope it helps,

    2. Yes! But mine are not appropriate for a flight blog! Let's just say that life can hand you that 'Wha?' experience when all of a sudden the procedures get changed on you. And you have to go around all over again. hmmmm. Is that the same?

    3. I did a go-around after bouncing on the runway twice because I was afraid I was going to break something important. Hooray for student piloting!

    4. Linda, there isn't anything that you can or cannot say that isn't appropriate for a flight blog. Remember... these are pilots. :)

    5. I am posting this for Capt Daags because my fat finger on iPhone accidentally deleted instead of posted.

      Capt Daags has left a new comment on your post "Go-Around... but what if you're clean?":

      A crew with an operation here in Australia tried the technique described by Bjorn but in their hast did not quite make the TOGA gate when they thought they did and ended up being the subject of a ATSB investigation!!. In my early days flying a Cherokee bounced a landing tried to go around with full flap, over the grass to much pitch, seemed to take minutes to get back into the air finally got there. Valuable lesson learned!!!.

    6. I am off to present an award to the Mayor... but will respond to the great comments when I return home.

    7. Christine... Thank You for the huge smile!

    8. Hi Bjorn, which two recent accidents? I would love to look into them.

      The "quick TOGA hit" is an option for us too. But if the flaps are out and it goes into TOGA mode, we will climb at least 200 feet even if our finger is on the ALT hold button.

      You're right, it will restring the flight plan.. but that is really easy to reinsert. I'm thinking the OP CLB approach is less dramatic and managed Nav stays engaged... just a more controled situation.

      Also, eventually we'll have a FMS software up grade that will make managed nav activation automatic with the selection of TOGA. What this means is that the go-around procedure change will be built in to the system... That will be a good thing.

      Thanks for your comment!

    9. Hi Capt Daags, Thanks for presenting an excellent point. Sometimes the quick and easy can cause more problems if not done correctly. Thanks for the comment!

    10. During my last stint of learning in a fixed-wing aircraft, I was doing an acceptable approach (for once :) when my instructor said "Dog on the runway" - Say WHAT??? There I am all concentration and bringing it in and he reckons there's a dog out there. I can't see it and keep going when he says it again. I look aside at him and say "Looks clear to me" when he says, again, "Dog on the runway!" at which point I finally get it and initiate the go-around. Interesting way to get me used to the fact that some times the need to go around isn't always politely announced :)

      At least I did an acceptable go-around unlike one earlier where I did the classic "Student Death Wish" manoeuvre & retracted all the flaps at once. Man, that ground sure can get big :) :)

      Hope all is well for you out there, Karlene :)



    11. Fly me Friendly, that is so funny! The funniest thing about this is my dogs were actually on the runway at SeaTac airport. My parents' Great Pyrenees got out and were running across the runway and planes were going around. The old days when they didn't have fences.
      I am so glad you did the procedure right and that ground didn't come at you too fast.
      Gotta watch out for those dogs... or moose if you're in Anchorage.

    12. To make it REAL interesting, lets talk about the aerodynamics of what happens if you try a go around in a twin with one engine out on short final. DONT TRY THIS AT HOME was the advice I received!!.

    13. Woopps, clarification, twin prop.

    14. Capt Daags... thanks for the warning. And... don't do it at the airport if you can help it too!

    15. Karlene,

      Lucky they were only incidents... The most documented one is the Jetstar A320 one in Melbourne.

      FYI, Airbus SOP for an intermediate go-around is TOGA and then appropriate FCU mode.


    16. Thank you for the link Bjorn!!! Interesting.


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