Saturday, July 12, 2008

Abort

According to CNN, reporting on a near-hit at JFK:
Delta Flight 123, a Boeing 757, missed a landing approach and had to "go around," the path of Comair Flight 1520, which was taking off on a perpendicular runway, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown.
Seems to be some confusion here. The term "go around" does not mean 'go around another aircraft', it means 'abort the landing, go around and get back in line for landing again'.

It's likely the cause of this go-around was the plane taking off on a perpendicular runway, but such things aren't entirely unheard of. Sometimes it's done to avoid a taxiing aircraft that botched ATC instructions or even a maintenance vehicle that hasn't quite cleared the runway. Go-arounds are specified in FAA regulations as to which way the aircraft should climb and turn after aborting, etc.

Not sure if CNN screwed up the wording or doesn't understand the concept, just wanted to chime in here. That doesn't mean this wasn't a scary event. Runway 'incursions' are a hot topic in safety talks these days. Here are some examples:



And here is video of an actual "go-around":

2 comments:

Mustang said...

Reminds me why, as a former private pilot, I hate to fly. I once had the tower vector me underneath of 727 as I was crossing the Patomac ... not a comfortable feeling when you're in a Cherokee. I escaped because I was paying attention, and you can believe I gave the tower a piece of my mind. The fact is, there is so much that can go wrong, it is only amazing there aren't more serious incidents.

Semper Fi

A.C. McCloud said...

The fact is, there is so much that can go wrong, it is only amazing there aren't more serious incidents.

As to controllers sometimes say, "it's a big sky".