I drive by MSP a couple times each day on Hiway 77 (which runs parallel to the new runway 17/35 presently under construction) between 3:30 pm and 4:30pm and I swear that at least two times a week I see an a/c on finals suddenly pitching up as they come in to 12R 30L for a landing and start the race track ''go around'' to get back into a landing sequence. Today I saw a DC9-10 on finals within 500 meters of the threshold suddenly and dramatically change its attitude, roll up is landing gear and start a lengthy go around as there was already a line up of at least 1/2 dozen aircraft visible by their landing lights lined up for the same runway. It looked like a UA 737-200 had made it on to the runway and was then exiting from the normal take off point to the west taxiway. Made me think something was not checking out on the final check list de-brief and caused them to bail their take-off! By then I had made the cloverleaf onto west bound Hwy 62 and lost site of the UA plane but could still see the NWA DC9-10 in the western horizion making its go around toward the northwest--all planes were landing from the northwest to the southeast today as far as I could tell.
Last Wed I saw an A319 execute a fly-by just west of 12R to get back into the circuit as it looked like another a/c had not yet lifted off. A couple days before that I saw a CRJ 200 (or maybe a CRJ440--I sure cannot tell the difference from the outside!
) do the same thing.
A few days before that I saw a Saab 340 go for a go around. It looked like a DC-10-30 was following it a bit too closely, so I suspect that in cases like that the Saab 340 is directed to go around instead of forcing the DC-10 to use up several times more fuel than the Saab would in order to race track around an extra 15-20 miles!
I suspect that MSP with is primarily twin parallel runway set up used simultaneoususly for both arriving and departing flights has more than in share of go arounds. Not too long ago I read that MSP was the busiest parallel runway operation in the world--which probably makes sense since statistics place MSP in the top 12-15 airports worldwide as far as pax and/or a/c operations. (Note--Sure 4-22 cross runaway is available but you only see it used occasionally throughout the day primarily for heavies, since using 4-22 causes 12L30R and 12R30L to be unavailable during that time.) I would estimate that more than 90% of MSP operations use the parallel runways.
How often do our friendly spotters witness go arounds at your airports? Are there statistics on the prevalence of go arounds? Does that affect your on time arrival percentage statistics if the FAA controllers told you to go around when you were within hundreds of feet of landing on time?
The Original Coronado: First CV jet flights RG CV 990 July 1965; DL CV 880 July 1965; Spantax CV990 Feb 1973