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Instructor Report

Teaching Go-Arounds

Each of us knows the importance of performing go-arounds properly. That's why we ensure that our students are skilled at performing this maneuver. The closer your student is to landing, the more challenging and critical the go-around becomes.

The next time you're thinking about asking your student to perform another go-around for practice, do so when the student is least likely to expect it - during the roundout or landing flare. It's at this point that the airplane has slipped into the region of reverse command, and performance is dramatically punished if the airplane isn't handled precisely.

Asking for a go-around from this position helps you in several ways. It allows you to examine any weaknesses in your student's piloting technique. For instance, you might see your student apply power and attempt to raise the flaps all at once, instead of doing so incrementally. Your student will certainly see the results of a poorly performed go-around when the airplane fails to accelerate properly (at least until you help him or her perform the proper technique). There's even a practical side to the maneuver. A Florida pilot once told me that he saw an alligator slither onto the runway as he began the landing flare. A properly performed go-around from only a few feet above the ground prevented damage to the airplane.

By Rod Machado

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