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Go-around - Transition to Instrument Flying

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Article Information
Category: Loss of Control Loss of Control
Content source: Flight Safety Foundation Flight Safety Foundation


Many go-arounds are conducted because the required visual references have not been established when the aircraft reaches the decision height (DA/H) or minimum descent height (MDA/H).

A shared or monitored approach is flown by many operators to avoid the difficulty that might otherwise be encountered during the transition from visual to instrument flying.

Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) Approach-and-landing Accident Reduction (ALAR) Briefing Note 6.1 — Being Prepared to Go Around recommends that when a shared or monitored approach technique is not employed, the following principles should be applied:

  • "When approaching the minimum descent altitude/height (MDA/H) or the decision altitude/height (DA/H), one pilot attempts to acquire the required visual references. During this time, the pilot is in almost-visual flying conditions.
  • If a go-around is initiated, an immediate transition to instrument flying should occur.
  • It is, therefore, of primary importance that the other pilot maintain instrument references and be ready to make appropriate calls if any flight parameter (airspeed, pitch attitude, bank angle, thrust) deviates from the normal value.
  • To ease this transition back to instrument flying, all efforts should be made to initiate the go-around with wings level and with no roll rate."

Further Reading

Flight Safety Foundation