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Go-around Training

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

Introduction

SKYbrary contains a broad-range of articles, references and further reading to assist airlines, air traffic control organisations, aircraft manufacturers and regulatory authorities with ideas for improving go-around training (see all the links below). Specifically, being able to tailor training to match operational scenarios that carry the most risk: in the spirit of an Advanced Training Qualification Programme (ATQP) if you like!

These three SKYbrary portals are useful starting points:

This article briefly discusses the training opportunities that exist for training pilots, what go-around training is typically undertaken and what changes could be made to improve go-around safety.

Training Opportunities for Pilots

Pilot training, from ab-initio, through type-rating, recurrent and upgrade, is strictly detailed, to ensure that regulatory requirements are met and conditions of the Pilot’s Licence are maintained. This does not mean that pilot training is guaranteed to cover go-around safety in the most effective manner.

Early Training

During the early stages of training, and particularly during type-rating training, go-arounds are a prominent skill that is taught, learnt and practiced. Primarily this training is to familiarise the pilot with the procedures for go-around and the consequential pitch, power and performance management. For example a pilot may conduct 4 go-arounds covering the normal situation (all engines working and go-around at DH) and high energy, balked landing and windshear cases [1]. This training will typically be conducted in a Full Flight Simulator (FFS). However, FFS utilisation is expensive and pilots, at all stages of training, have many other training demands; therefore, there can be limited opportunities to fully explore realistic go-around scenarios. Courses using Zero Flight Time Training (ZFTT) may present more opportunities in the FFS, but this time is not guaranteed to be used for go-around training. During Low Visibility Operations (LVO) training the emphasis on go-arounds tends to be on loss of references and degradation of auto-pilot and auto-throttles.

Ultimately, all early training tends to be aimed at “qualification” and the scenarios that will be required during line and recurrent training once the pilot is “working”. Therefore, opportunities for realistic go-around training from representative scenarios are not necessarily available, or used.

Line and Recurrent Training

The annual pilot’s Line Proficiency Check (LPC) is a revalidation of his/her licence, and therefore contains mandatory requirements, which in relation to go-arounds, requires a go-around at DH with one engine failed. However, evidence suggests that the majority of go-arounds occur with full power available[2] and using full power during a go-around can introduce a high risk situation[3]. Furthermore, most go-arounds do not occur at DH. So, go-around preparation for the typical LPC could be considered unrepresentative.

During the biannual Operator’s Proficiency Check (OPC) the focus is on compliance with Company procedures and policies, and CRM, as well as achieving the cycle of mandatory training required by regulations. Once again, go-around preparation tends to be guided by these requirements and will typically be go-around at DH with one engine failed.

Training in preparation for LPC and OPC can involve Line Oriented Flight Training (LOFT) in a FFS. Only if the scenario used contains a situation requiring go-around and the pilots make the decision to go-around will any practice occur. However, LOFT is a validation of training programmes and operational procedures and is not to be used as a method of checking the performance of individuals, other than CRM.

So, Line and Recurrent training tends to be aimed at fulfilling regulatory and Company requirements. Therefore, opportunities for realistic go-around training from representative scenarios are not necessarily available, or used.

ATQP

Airlines that are approved to run Advanced Training Qualification Programmes have much more flexibility in the content of their Line and Recurrent training programmes. Furthermore, it is a condition of the ATQP that operational performance data is used to tailor training scenarios; this will be Fleet specific and can also apply to individual pilot’s performance. This data will typically come from:

Under an ATQP the balance between training time versus checking/examining time is more in favour of training, unlike non-ATQP programmes which can be two-thirds checking and less than one-third training. Therefore, ATQP provides the greatest opportunity for realistic go-around training that is relevant to the Operator, the aircraft Type, and the individual pilot.

Current Go-Around Training

From the results of a worldwide airline survey (including both ATQP and non-ATQP operators)[4] it seems that some airlines are taking the opportunity to provide more realistic and representative go-around training.

This slide shows that go-arounds from all the different phases of approach are included in some training programmes. Ideally each of these scenarios would be included in 100% of programmes.

Survey: Kremer Luxair & ERA 2013
Results from a survey of airlines – go-around training. CApt. P. Kremer. 2013. Luxair/ERA.

As well as different phases of approach, different training programmes also include the following aspects to enhance realism:

Improvements to Go-Around Training

Ideally go-around training should be representative of real operational conditions and also cover situations which, if they did arise, would introduce the most risk (difficulty). On the first point appropriate training scenarios can be built from the feedback that some airlines use to build their ATQP (see above). On the second point, executing go-arounds under certain conditions can be extremely difficult and loss of spatial awareness) and situational awareness can lead to Loss of Control (LOC). Such a scenario may consist of low thrust and low speed go-around from a height below DH with all engines working, followed by a low stop altitude and a complicated Missed Approach procedure. The same sources of performance data that are utilised for ATQP can also be used to measure the success of go-around training by providing feedback on performance. Even those airlines that do not employ an ATQP, the same sources of data are available. They will have to create additional training time in the FFS to give pilots the best chance of safely executing a go-around in all conditions. National regulatory authorities can play a part in facilitating non-ATQP airlines to improve go-around training by becoming more flexible on the content of mandatory training and allowing some variation from go-around from DH with one engine inoperative.

Not all training occurs in the aircraft or simulator and there are many ways to provide feedback to pilots and to facilitate useful discussions on the subject e.g:

  • face-to-face debriefings
  • presentations during ground training
  • FDM debriefings and simulations
  • publications, websites and bulletins

Go-Around Safety Forum (2013) Findings and Conclusions

The Findings and Conclusions from the June 2013 Go-Around Safety Forum held in Brussels contain many useful ideas for consideration including Strategies and Conclusions for various stakeholders. These conclusions are not necessarily recommendations, but are valuable for stakeholders to use as starting points to improve go-around safety. Some of these are summarised below.

Go-Around Safety Forum Strategy

Eight Safety Improvement Strategies were agreed at this Forum. All of these strategies are ultimately relevant to training, i.e. policies and procedures need to be learnt and practiced, however, one strategy was specific to go-around safety training.

  • Strategy 4 Ensure that go-around training and awareness appropriately reflect different risk execution scenarios.

Training Related Conclusions

General Industry Conclusions
  • GEN1 - EUROCONTROL Agency should review the ATCO Training Common Core Content to consider the applicability of adding specific objectives and supporting comments related to ATCO responsibilities regarding go-around/missed approach.
  • GEN2 - Aircraft Operators and ATC should improve the mutual understanding of each others' go-around practices/procedures.
  • GEN3 - The Industry partners should develop a go-around training aid.
Air Operator Conclusions
  • AO7 - Provide ongoing training to enhance psychosocial awareness and management, the components and their contribution to non-compliance during the approach phase.
  • AO12 – Pilots must be able to demonstrate that they are able to safely execute go-arounds commenced from high energy and low energy states at the point 
where the go-around decision is indicated.
  • AO13 – Pilots must be able to exercise tactical judgment as well as procedural 
compliance when deciding to go-around below the mandatory stabilised approach gate so that safe execution is not prejudiced by an inappropriate 
delay in the decision. Validation of this must be achieved by realistic training scenarios.
  • AO14 – Go-Around training should include a range of operational scenarios, including go-arounds from positions other than DA/MDA and the designated Stabilised Approach Gate. Scenarios should involve realistic simulation of surprise, typical landing weights and full power go-arounds.
  • AO15 – include lessons learned from operational events/incidents into go-around training.
  • AO16 – Clear guidance should be provided to pilots on how to act in respect of the three stages of cross-monitoring during approach, landing and go around i.e. - noticing/alerting/taking control. Observing members of augmented crews should have a clear understanding of their monitoring role.
  • AO17 – Pilot training to execute GA in automatic modes should be explicitly included and Aircraft Operator automation policy should address the go-around procedure.
  • AO18 – Pilots should have a clear understanding of how the pitch control system works on the aircraft type they fly. This should be validated by both theoretical testing and suitable simulator exercises conducted with full rather than reduced power/thrust available at typical landing weights.
ATM Conclusions
  • ATM3 – ANSPs should review and if necessary enhance the provision of go-around risk awareness training for controllers.
  • ATM4 – Ensure that the importance of a stabilised approach and compliance with final approach procedures is included in training and briefing for air traffic control staff (European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Excursions Recommendation 3.3.1). Implementation Advice - Training should include:
    • Appropriate speed control instructions
    • Timely descent instructions.
    • The importance of avoiding late change of runway or type of approach
    • Assigning a landing RWY with no significant tailwind component
    • Avoidance of vectoring too tightly onto final approach and intercepting glide path from above
    • Providing crew correct information about distance to touchdown
  • ATM 8 – ANSPs should establish a formal interface between pilots and controllers where issues can be explored and a joint understanding can be reached. 
 Implementation Advice:
    • Pilots can be invited to attend controllers’ training sessions and vice versa
    • Facilitated open days for pilots at ATC Units and familiarization flights for ATCOs
    • Joint CRM training
Other Conclusions
  • AM2 - Aircraft Manufacturers to ensure that go-around procedures presented in aircraft pilot training and aircraft operating manuals are applicable to go-arounds commenced at any stage on final approach up to and including landings rejected after touchdown.
  • REG1 - Regulatory Authorities to review the go-around training requirements and regulatory developments for pilots and ATCOs to ensure that the conclusions of this report are properly reflected.

Related Articles

Further Reading

References

  1. ^ The Go-Around and the Instructor/Examiner. Presentation by D. deWinter. 2013.
  2. ^ Go-Around Accident & Incident Report Review. Presentation by Capt. E. Pooley. 2013. The Air Safety Consultancy.
  3. ^ Go-around Execution. SKYbrary Article.
  4. ^ Go-Around Training Survey. Presentation by Capt. P. Kremer. 2013. Luxair & ERA.


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