I just had a couple questions based on observations I made while plane-spotting at Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l last Tuesday.
1. The weather was mostly cloudy with no rain, but not among the worse days I have seen and visibility was pretty good. There was moderate build-up to the west and arrivals and departures were to the west because of WSW winds of about 15 knots. I was mostly waiting for the European arrivals and on that day, the Air France A330-200 joined final for the runway that was being used for departures and did a spectacular overshoot (with landing gear still disengaged), banked to the right, did the "go around" and then came in as usual in regular sequence. I thought that they hadn't missed the runway because of the exact way the approach was carried out. I was further convinced when 45 minutes later the Lufthansa A340-300 did the same thing, also over the runway being used for departures.
I thought that maybe both crews were unfamiliar with the airport and opted for the go-arounds like I've seen done before with visual approaches but that explanation didn't satisfy me because there is such a thing as the glide slope and the ILS which facilitate landings in FAR worse weather conditions or simply if the crew is unfamiliar with a runway. Contrary to common sense, is this practice an option by the captain or could the ATC have requested that they do this for spacing or sequencing? (that explanation doesn't sit well with me either). Can anyone shed some light on this kind of situation?? I know that missed approaches occur all the time but it just seemed like a coincidence for both flights to "opt??"/ "ordered?" to do it.
I didn't mind of course because I had great views of two magnificent airplanes and their wingspans right over my head..
2. Also, an Allegiant MD-83 departed at around 4:30 PM and since ATL isn't on Allegiant's regular schedule, does anyone know if this aircraft was on a charter flight/ emergency stopover/ in for maintenance etc..? If so, can you provide the reg??
Thanks in advance and happy spotting,