Have an early decision point for an early and proper go-around

The ATSB is reminding pilots of the importance of executing an early and correctly executed go-around if a safe landing is in doubt.

Some of the damage to Cessna 206, VH-WZX, after striking a fence the aircraft impacted with a tree.

The ATSB’s investigation into the collision with terrain of a Cessna 206, registration VH-WZX, at Apollo Bay Airfield in Victoria, underlines the importance of pilots executing an early and correctly executed go-around during approach and landing.

On 31 January 2018, the pilot of VH-WZX touched down at Apollo Bay Airfield and then bounced and floated along the runway. The pilot attempted to complete the landing, but the aircraft continued to float and drift right, over the adjacent grass fly-over area, where it possibly bounced for a second time. With one quarter of the runway remaining the aircraft then touched down on the grass and bounced again.

After commencing a late go-around, the pilot did not immediately follow the go-around procedure as directed by the aeroplane flight manual. As a result, the aircraft did not climb as expected and struck the airfield boundary fence and continued flying. After striking the fence, the pilot again deviated from the aircraft manufacturer’s recommended go-around procedure and the aircraft descended and impacted a tree. The pilot then completed a left circuit for the runway and landed safely.

The incident highlights the need for pilots to anticipate, plan and execute early and correctly executed go-arounds.

ATSB Executive Director Nat Nagy says the incident highlights the need for pilots to execute an early go-around as recommended by the aircraft’s manual.

“The best way to avoid a late go-around is to anticipate and plan an early decision point for when to commence a go-around,” Mr Nagy said. “We support the advice of the Federal Aviation Administration, who suggest that if the landing cannot be made in the first third of the runway, you should execute a go-around.”

“In this instance, the go-around was not only late but was not carried out in line with the aircraft’s manual, making it harder for the aircraft to avoid obstacles and increasing the risk of collision.”

“While the outcome of the incident was fairly minor, it could have been much worse,” Mr Nagy said.

Read the final report, AO-2018-013: Collision with terrain involving Cessna 206, VH-WZX, Apollo Bay Airfield, Victoria, 31 January 2018

For more information on when and how to execute a go-around read the FAA’s Airplane Flying Handbook, Chapter eight Approaches and Landings

Last update 02 May 2018