Thanks Steve for the detailed explanation of this missed approach!
Photo © Paul Paulsen
I thought that looked familiar! I was the FO in that aircraft. Abnormal is a pretty good word for that approach, but it was flown safely with coordination with the LAX tower. We were turned to base early from a high downwind by SoCal approach. They typically assign you a heading of 220 to intercept the 24R final, which compounded our altitude problem, which was further compounded by a slight tailwind from the east at pattern altitude and a heavy aircraft. There was no traffic for 24L or for the south complex (25L/R), so we coordinated with LAX tower for the S turns on final to try to get down. So, all the maneuvering was cleared by ATC, there were no conflicts with any other aircraft, and when it was obvious we couldn't make a safe landing, we went around. Abnormal, yes. Unsafe, no. We commercial pilots pride ourselves in providing the safest possible air transportation possible -- every leg, every day. Now that you know the "rest of the story", perhaps you could ed!
it the comments of the photo to better describe the approach. Thanks, and by the way -- great photo!
737-4/7/9 First Officer
Also, the text below explains when the decision to go around was made and why.
Speed was fine, we were too high to safely land. We are required to
have our approach stabilized by 500' AGL in order to land, and our
descent rate was outside the stabilized approach criteria for Alaska
Airlines. The go around decision was made prior to the last turn to
line up on 24R, and executed once we were lined up with the runway.