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Go Around vs. Missed Approach

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by Maximillian_Jenius, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. Maximillian_Jenius

    Maximillian_Jenius Large Member

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    In honor of the Cleared to vs.Cleared Direct thread. I wanted to ask a question that has been bugging me as of late:

    What is the difference between a "Go Around" and a "missed approach?" Can only the tower call a "go around" and a pilot only call going "missed approach?" Is it possible to only go "missed" in IFR low visiblity conditions,or can you (as a pilot) go "missed" on a severe clear day or is that simply go around?

    Confused...cause I am let me know guys/gals?
  2. JEP

    JEP What are you looking at? Staff Member

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    Go Around can be called for by either the tower or the pilot may choose to go around for any number of reasons. Generally a pilot would call missed approach.
  3. meritflyer

    meritflyer Well-Known Member

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    As per the AIM glossary the Go-Around is a phrase used to instruct pilots to abandon their approach. A missed approach is a maneuver conducted by a pilot when an instrument approach can not be completed.

    Also, at alot of uncontrolled airports I often hear VFR pilots call out a go-around since there is no tower instructing them to do so.
  4. SIUAv8r

    SIUAv8r RJ Commander

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    ATC can instruct you to execute a missed approach if need be.
  5. JEP

    JEP What are you looking at? Staff Member

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    ...
  6. EatSleepFly

    EatSleepFly Well-Known Member

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    "Go Around" = VFR
    "Missed Approach" = IFR

    Either the tower or the pilot can call them. Although when approach wants you to go missed, it's often phrased "cancel approach clearance," followed by whatever they want you to do.
  7. jrh

    jrh Well-Known Member

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    A "go around" is a VFR maneuver and usually means "don't land, go around the traffic pattern again." It can be called for by either a pilot or ATC. An example of when it would be used would be if a student pilot is coming in too fast and high to make a safe landing, they might announce that they are "going around." Another example would be if there is still traffic on the runway when an aircraft is on short final, the tower might tell the landing traffic to "go around."

    A "missed approach" is an IFR maneuver. It is a set of instructions to be followed in case an instrument approach cannot be completed safely for any reason. Instructions would be something like, "Climb straight ahead to 2000 feet, then climbing right turn direct to the ABC VOR and hold." The most common reason for a missed approach would be if the pilot has gone as low and far as possible on an instrument approach and still cannot see the runway. He would then announce that they were "missed approach" and begin following the MA procedure.

    Other possible reasons would be if the pilot allows the needles to go "full scale" during the approach, meaning they are too far off course to know exactly where they are at. They would also perform a missed approach if a critical piece of equipment died during the approach (say, the ILS receiver going belly up while coming down the ILS). ATC could also tell a pilot to go missed approach, but I'm not sure why they would...maybe if something was blocking the runway and the pilot was still in the clouds or something. That would be very unusual though.

    Can a missed approach be flown in VFR conditions? Sure, I guess. I don't know if it would be called a missed or a go around. Either way, it means you aren't landing!
  8. JEP

    JEP What are you looking at? Staff Member

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    This happens all the time in the training environment while practicing approaches. The tower will let come so close to the apt and then could tell you to 'go missed'.
  9. Maximillian_Jenius

    Maximillian_Jenius Large Member

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    Cool...Today here in PHX it was severe clear skies and I saw several "Cactus" and SWA planes on final (I work less then 1 mile from KPHX) abandon the approach. It was REALLY windy today so I'm sure there was a strong chance of windshere. So then since the airliners were on an IFR flight plan that was a "missed approach" right?
  10. BobDDuck

    BobDDuck Gone whale watching...

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    Depends. If it was a nice day and they could keep the airport in sight they might just go around and fly a box traffic pattern and try again. If the weather was bad and they never saw the airport, or they did but had to go around they might head to the miss approach point and hold there for further clearance.

    I normally brief an approach on a nice day something like "Visual for 23 back up with the ILS, freq blah blah blah... if we go missed it will be a left pattern with tower, or what ever they tell us." Where as on a bad day it would be more "ILS for 23, freq blah blah blah... if we go missed it will be a climbing right turn to 3000 direct to blah blah and hold as published, or what ever tower tells us."
  11. jrh

    jrh Well-Known Member

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    Hmm...not quite. A "missed approach" is only needed if the plane is shooting an instrument approach to begin with. If they are on a visual approach it's considered more of a "go around." An aircraft can be IFR and doing a visual approach to an airport if the weather is good enough. No "missed approach procedure" is given for a visual approach.

    So it's not so much a question of if the aircraft is on an IFR flight plan or not, it's more of an issue of how low the ceiling/visibility is and if an instrument approach is needed.

    In the case you gave, the pilots might have called it a "missed approach" over the radio, but they would have meant a "go around." It doesn't really matter what they call it--the controller knows what they mean. They'd probably just get some radar vectors to get back in sequence for another visual approach.

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