Don't let the go-around go wrong!

Updated: Apr 4

In recent times, there have been a number of accidents that have occurred during the go-around phase.


It is vital that you are able to perform a go-around safely and are familiar with the aircraft's handling characteristics during this phase.


Typically, a fixed wing aircraft will have reduced, but acceptable climb performance in the landing configuration. In the absence of any specific instructions in the Pilot's Operating Handbook, you should leave the aircraft in the landing configuration at the initial stage of the go-around. If you change the configuration of the aircraft close to the ground, for example retracting flaps, the aircraft could sink or stall. It also increases your workload at an already busy time.


Apply full power. Anything less than full power will result in reduced climb performance so make sure you smoothly and immediately push the throttle fully forward. At the same time, raise the nose. You should not raise the nose above the horizon initially. Remember that with drag flaps you will have an increased angle of attack and increased drag, so any attempt to raise the nose to a normal climb attitude will result in deceleration and possibly a stall. This is an area where you should be familiar with the specific aircraft type and know the go-around attitude well.


Establish a positive rate of climb on runway heading and stabilise the aircraft. Many aircraft will become significantly out of trim when transitioning to a full power climb in the landing configuration. The nose will pitch up and if positive control pressure is not maintained, it could lead to a stall. If the control forces are excessive, you should adjust the trim immediately whilst looking ahead and maintaining a safe attitude.


Once the aircraft is stable and established in the climb, you can remove flaps in stages. Pay careful attention to your airspeed throughout, ensuring that you do not exceed the maximum flap speed or allow speed to reduce. Typically light aircraft will climb out at the approach speed plus 5-10kts until flaps are retracted, but you should refer to the specific procedures for your aircraft.



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