Flight Redemptions

What is G/A or GA in Aviation? (Go Around)

Updated: February 26, 2024

What is a Go-Around in Aviation?
In the world of aviation, a go-around refers to a maneuver performed by an aircraft when it aborts its landing approach and initiates a climb back into the air. This decision is made by the pilot-in-command or the air traffic controller, usually in situations where the landing conditions are not ideal or there is a potential safety concern. The go-around procedure ensures the safety of passengers, crew, and the aircraft itself, allowing for a second attempt at landing or diverting to an alternate airport if necessary.

During a go-around, the aircraft ascends to a safe altitude and then follows specific instructions provided by air traffic control. This maneuver can be initiated at various stages of the landing approach, such as during the final approach or even after touchdown. The decision to go-around is typically made due to factors such as poor visibility, runway incursions, wind shear, or an aircraft being slow to vacate the runway, among others.

Factors Leading to a Go-Around
There are several factors that can contribute to the decision to perform a go-around. These factors can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the pilot's judgment. Here are some common factors that may lead to a go-around:

Poor visibility: If the pilot cannot clearly see the runway or the approach lights due to fog, heavy rain, or low clouds, a go-around may be necessary to ensure a safe landing.
Runway incursions: If another aircraft, vehicle, or object poses a potential collision risk on the runway, a go-around may be initiated to avoid a dangerous situation.
Unstable approach: If the aircraft is not properly configured or aligned with the runway, or if the descent rate or airspeed is not within the acceptable limits, a go-around may be necessary to reestablish a stable approach.
Wind shear: Sudden and significant changes in wind speed or direction can create hazardous conditions during landing. In such cases, a go-around may be the safest option to avoid potential accidents.
Missed approach procedure: Sometimes, the decision to go-around is predetermined before the approach begins, especially when the aircraft is unable to establish visual contact with the runway by a certain point. This is known as a missed approach procedure.

It is important to note that pilots are trained extensively to assess these factors and make the appropriate decision to go-around when necessary. Safety is always the top priority in aviation, and a go-around ensures that any potential risks are mitigated.

The Go-Around Procedure
When a go-around is initiated, pilots follow a specific procedure to ensure a safe climb and transition back into the air. Here is a step-by-step overview of the go-around procedure:

Thrust: The pilot advances the throttle to increase engine power, allowing the aircraft to climb swiftly.
Flaps: Depending on the aircraft type and the stage of the landing approach, the pilot may retract the flaps partially or fully to optimize the aircraft's climb performance.
Gear: The landing gear is typically left extended during a go-around, as retracting it may cause unnecessary delays and complexity.
Yaw: The pilot ensures that the aircraft is properly aligned with the runway heading to maintain a safe climb path.
Communications: The pilot establishes communication with air traffic control to inform them of the go-around and to receive any necessary instructions or clearances.
Altitude: The pilot climbs to a predetermined altitude, as specified by air traffic control or the missed approach procedure.
Navigation: The pilot follows the prescribed flight path, which may involve making turns or following specific headings to ensure separation from other air traffic.
Stabilization: Once the aircraft has reached the designated altitude and is on the correct flight path, the pilot stabilizes the aircraft and prepares for the next course of action, whether it's making another landing attempt or diverting to an alternate airport.

It is crucial for pilots to be proficient in the go-around procedure and practice it regularly during their training. By doing so, they are well-prepared to handle unexpected situations and prioritize safety during every phase of flight.

In conclusion, a go-around is a vital maneuver in aviation that ensures the safety of passengers, crew, and aircraft during landing approaches. Factors such as poor visibility, runway incursions, unstable approaches, wind shear, and missed approach procedures can all contribute to the decision to perform a go-around. Pilots follow a specific procedure to initiate a go-around, including increasing engine thrust, retracting flaps, aligning with the runway heading, and climbing to a safe altitude. By understanding the importance of go-arounds and the procedures involved, pilots can effectively manage challenging situations and prioritize safety in the skies.

Recent Posts