Checkraiser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (8 years 10 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4329 times:
I ask this because last September I was on AI 127 FRA-ORD. I'd guess that the A/C was about 50' AGL but I'm not sure, all I know is that I could see the runway directly underneath us when suddenly the crew punched it and we flew back toward downtown before trying again, I believe on a different runway.
So anyway, does this happen often? What things would cause a pilot do to this at the very last second?
N317AS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4315 times:
Things on the runway, such as deer, cows, other aircraft.
Forgot to put the gear down.
Landing long, so they new they couldn't slow down in time.
A 747 is just as likely to go around as any other aircraft.
The only one that won't go around is one that just burned it's last drop of fuel.
OzLAME From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 338 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4260 times:
At work at SYD last week I watched an Atlas Air 744F going around because the a/c that landed previously (Emirates A340) took too long to clear the runway. In this part of the world go-arounds by any aircraft are not very common, perhaps the traffic is spaced further apart than in the USA or Europe. There is no reason to think it will happen more (or less) frequently with a 747 than with other a/c.
Monty Python's Flying Circus has nothing to do with aviation, except perhaps for Management personnel.
Baw716 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2023 posts, RR: 28
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4200 times:
The only time 747s become more prone to more go-arounds vs. other aircraft are when the airplane is approaching max landing weight. The speed of the approach at max landing weight is on the high side (160-165kts), so a great deal of runway is required for the landing. There can be no obstacle whatsoever on the runway or any potential for obstruction, as once the wheels are down, it is very hard to get back off the deck. Not impossible, but very hard. As a result, most pilots tend to be very conservative on the approach at high weights and speeds. In the sim, when flying the 747-400 near max landing weight, I have a lot of difficulty keeping the aircraft on the glideslope without either the autoland system, or if hand flying, a lot of throttle input...max flaps and keep the HSI just above center. Ground effect kicks in at about 500 feet and if everything is not configured properly by 200 feet (decision height), you must go around or have a very hard landing. At 200 feet, you can firewall the engines and with the flaps full down at 160 kts, you can pull up one notch to kill the sink and at 180 kts, pull back to 15 degrees, positive climb, gear up, clean up, accelerate to 250kts and 3000 feet and make a big 360 turn (however ATC turns you) back around for another approach.
Now, insofar as go arounds are concerned, they are no big deal. They just extend the flight time another 20 minutes or so for the pilots to bring the aircraft around for another approach. I have had only three of them in 30 years of flying. The closest to landing was at Denver Stapleton in a United DC10, when we got down to 50 feet and then suddenly bailed out of the landing and climbed out and circled Denver for four orbits, then landed. The crew kept us informed the entire time...the flight crew spotted something on the runway as they were making their flair and decided to go around and have the airport have a look at the runway. All it turned out to be was an exceptionally large piece of ice kicked up by another aircraft on landing, so once it had been removed the runway was fine. The piece of ice was large enough that it had the potential to seriously damage a larger aircraft; so it was a good call on the part of our captain. Either way, I don't really care if he made a mistake. As long as any action is taken in a conservative manner and as long as the action is taken in the interest of safety, I really don't care. I put my life in the flight crew's hands every time I step on board on airplane.
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
CosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2254 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4027 times:
Quoting Baw716 (Reply 3): The speed of the approach at max landing weight is on the high side (160-165kts), so a great deal of runway is required for the landing. There can be no obstacle whatsoever on the runway or any potential for obstruction, as once the wheels are down, it is very hard to get back off the deck.
That's a little dramatic, the MD-11 has a high app. speed (Vapp) and 160-165 kts. is actually quite normal and it really isn't that big a deal. Most towers never ask for anything slower than about 160 inside the marker and most int'l towers know fairly well that a plane coming from across the ocean isn't going to be light. We can land on 27L at CDG and make Y5 without much trouble unless it's wet.
Quoting Baw716 (Reply 3): I have a lot of difficulty keeping the aircraft on the glideslope without either the autoland system, or if hand flying, a lot of throttle input...max flaps and keep the HSI just above center.
PhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3844 times:
I have to agree with Bellerophon.
The 747 and 747-400 is an easy aircraft to fly at MLW. When it's light ( a freighter at 175 tonnes) you just can't slow down!
Just another comment on what has been written. Most airlines have as part of their SOP some requirement for a "stabilized approach". For example, here at SQ, on an instrument approach we have to be stabilized no later than 1000' for a visual it's 500'. If you aren't configured by those limits it's an overshoot, no questions asked.
Also, the go around procedure isn't at all what's described. It's very simple on the 400. You hit TOGA, follow the pitch bar, flaps to 20 and at positive confirmation of the climb call for gear retraction. Nothing more, nothing less.
Like Bellerophon between the classic and the -400, I have about 12000 hours.