Has anyone else not experienced a go around?

Musings of the Global Traveller mentions that he experienced a go around on a recent flight, saying that he gets a few of those in a typical year.

I’ve flown well over a million “butt in seat” miles, and I’ve never experienced a go around, or for that matter an aborted takeoff, engine failure, etc. I realize most of these aren’t a big deal nowadays, but it still kind of surprises me. Not that I’m complaining, I guess I should be thankful for the fact that I’ve had an equal number of good takeoffs and landings, which is something I all too often take for granted.

On the other hand, I’ve had my my fair share of insane seatmates, onboard medical issues, passengers that were removed from flights for cussing out crews, runaway kids, and possible guests of the Jerry Springer show to make up for it, though.

Has anyone else flown over a million miles and never experienced a go around, aborted takeoff, engine failure, etc.?


  1. I haven’t flown over a million miles, but in approximately 350,000 lifetime BIS miles, including approximately 85 operations in the state of Alaska (where you think weather’d be a major concern!), I’ve NEVER had a go-around.

    I have, however, been at the controls and had to go around, though… 😛

  2. Over the last 30 years I’ve experienced 8-10 go-arounds, of which about half were due to being too close to the preceding arrival and the rest were weather related. I’ve had four aborted take-offs: two involving the same plane on successive days (BA 747 at BOS), and one at CDG that smoked the brakes and led to an emergency evacuation. (See http://geoffarnold.com/?p=543 for details.) One in-flight engine failure mid-Atlantic, which was a real non-event.

  3. I’ve barely even broken 100,000 lifetime BIS miles and I’ve had 2 go arounds, 1 even a bit unsettling. Never an aborted takeoff though. Luck of the draw I guess.

  4. I experienced a go around once when I was on a Southwest flight landing in San Diego in “marginal conditions”. Apparently the pilot couldn’t get a lock on the localizer and we were coming in way to far to the left. The ceiling was quite low and when we broke through it I was quite surprised that we were about to land in the marina right next to the field. Anyways, we got out of there and went around and did it again.

  5. Only 1 time, 15 years ago landing in Detroit, at night and in good weather. Pilot was honest enough to admit over the PA that he ‘blew the approach’.

  6. I don’t think I’ve quite made it to 1mm BIS miles, although I imagine I’m close… And I’ve never experienced a go-around, failure, or other major problem (other than the occasional seatmate). 😛

  7. Two or three go arounds due to below minimums. One aborted takeoff at IAD and one race down the runway at LAX when landing without flaps and being chased by the fire engines.

    The pilots were pros and I’m here to tell the tales.

  8. Had a go-around getting ready to touchdown at SFO when returning from the Chicago Seminar DO last Monday! Have had several others in my 2+ million lifetime BIS, but this was the only recent one.

    Plus several years ago had one emergency landing (at IAD instead of the planned destination of DCA) complete with lots of firetrucks, flashing lights, etc. … but fortunately no fire or emergency evacuation.

  9. 1 go-around among over a million BIS miles. It was at my home airport of CAE. A small, private aircraft entered the runway just before we were about to land on a clear day. The stranger in the seat next to me was already afraid of flying, so I calmly talked her through the non-event.

  10. 2 go-rounds. The last was just 10 days ago coming into San Diego for a runway incursion. Previously, it was 2 years ago into LGA for wind-shear. Also had a diversion once coming into DEN (weather forced us to LNK).

    The fact that you’ve had none of these Ben, with way MORE than 1MM BIS (once you start counting your award travel), is probably a statistical anomaly.

  11. I am not a frequent traveler by any means, – only fly three or four times a year. Had two aborted landings in the last 10 or so flights. First was minutes before a strong thunderstorm in the area and the wind blew baggage card on the landing strip right before the touchdown. 5 minutes after landing the airport was shut down. Second go around was much earlier in the landing process. If not for the window seat, I probably would not have noticed. Pilot then explained that we had to go around due to accumulated traffic in front of us.

  12. With over 2MM miles, strange events are inevitable. In the 1980s, landings of evening flights from Halifax, Nova Scotia to St. John’s, Newfoundland were of often aborted due to fog, and returned to Halifax. After my second aborted flight, a pilot explained to me that unofficial criteria for landing was if he could make out a bright red WoolCo (retailer) sign atop the store on final approach, at under 800 feet, he would go for it. Otherwise he would quickly pull up and head back. Needless to say, from then on I always had my face pressed to the glass hoping to see that sign.

  13. I’ve a couple interesting things in the last year or so: one go-around at CLT on a US 733 – very strong thundercell right in the approach path to Douglas, and we were maybe 2000′ AGL when the engines went to full-groan power and we climbed like a banshee for about 20 seconds. Not a biggie.
    In April, on the way to the Masters, my SFO-ORD 767 took off on time and normally, with Channel 9 on. About 5 minutes after takeoff, Channel 9 went to music, and a minute later, the Captain came on the PA to say the cargo door unlatched warning light was on, and we would return to SFO. Totally normal approach and landing (although I think we had a priority approach,) the ground folks fixed it in about 2 hours or so, and we were back in the air to ORD with a normal flight the rest of the way.
    So about half a million BIS miles and those are the only two interesting stories I have 🙂

  14. Over 2 million butt in seat miles, and only one experience with an aborted landing – caused by a passenger on a RJ who insisted on going to the bathroom seconds before landing.

  15. 850,000 BIS on United and can only recall one go-round, and I had drifted off, listening to Channel 9, landing at SFO inbound from FRA, when the plane ahead of us had failed to exit the runway…

    Had to return to Dulles once en route to AMS when the plane’s cabin would not pressurize…

  16. No Go-Arounds, but 1 landing on a UA 777 with flaps unable to deploy, returning back to LAX. Hmm.. I wonder if Rick and I were on the same flight.

  17. I’ve had several go-around and emergency landings in 2MM BIS. A few years ago I was on a LH A340-300 from Denver and had to go around in Munich because of a Cessna still on the runways. One of my most memorable emergency landings was on a flight from FRA to ORD where we made an unscheduled stop in Iceland due to a medical emergency!

  18. The only go-around that I’ve had was ORD-MCO on a 757. We were cleared to land, when the engines suddenly spooled up, and we climbed to 10000ft. Pilot announced that ATC had us too high and fast for the approach, so we would be going around.. Landed 15 minutes late.

  19. I experienced one go around at SFO. It was terrifying since I had no clue what was happening. Now, I would know not to worry.

  20. A little shy of 2MM BIS, I’ve had 3 go-arounds I can recall. One into the old DEN Stapleton airport where the wind shifted on final and we leveled off and headed to COS. Another in severe turbulence coming into ATL where the FA had to crawl up the aisle on all fours to her seat and a cell came across the approach end on short final; and another where there was an incursion in ORD. One aborted takeoff in MCO and a compressor stall holding short of the active in DTW (which doesn’t really count but it is a loud bang that does catch your attention); and a lightening hit in a 747 heading from ORD to FRA – took out the inertial nav system so we had to head back to ORD and swap planes.

  21. One go-around in probably ~100,000 BIS. Coming into ORD a few years ago on UA, previous flight failed to exit runway in time. Quite amusing to hear Pilot to Tower conversation on Ch9 as we approached “are you sure we are still cleared to land?” … “Go around UAxxx”

    The other notable was a very recent go around that happened right above me as I was driving under the approach path for MSP. I heard a loud engine, looked up to see what plane was so noisy (damn those MD80s) and saw a DL flight pulling in the gear and heading to higher altitude.

  22. I think I got to about 750K miles before my 1st. Coming into PHL on US-Scareways, saw another plane coming in for landing on the runway 90 deg off us… thought… hmm.. wonder how ATC is going to thread the two of us?? Then whoop! Up we go!! haha.. scared a lot of peeps! The other was on a 747 coming into SFO into the fog bank… when I asked the pilots later they said someone was slow coming off the runway, happens a lot there!

  23. Does a touch-and-go on the executive airport next to OGG before landing on the proper runway count? Happened about 5 yrs ago…

  24. Then again, my wife, who almost never flies, had the best reason for a flight delay…a decal of one of the members of the Blue Man Group was sucked off the side of the plane into an engine before takeoff on an Allegiant flight from LAS

  25. Had an aborted landing last night US Airways #3870 from Columbia SC.

    Could see edge of runway maybe a 200 feet off the ground and the pilot gunned the engine. Reported that another plane was cleared for take off and deemed it was too close.

    First time.

  26. a little over 2MM BIS miles and have experience about 10 go-arounds, most were due to being too close to aircraft ahead of us or aircraft still on the active runway, two due to weather and one due to a landing gear issue. Also had several aborted takeoffs including one on AA (BHM-DFW) that blew an oil line in the right engine on an MD80 just prior to rotating. Good brakes !!!

  27. 2009 had a double go around on SW into BWI — came in hard on the third try. Pilot never opened the door during de-boarding process. 2M+ — received 1M card from US several years ago

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