Flying A Low Level Go Around With Full Flap


From Candia Smith, student post solo

Can you go over going around from low level please?

Most certainly Candia. As you do not say what aircraft you are in I shall choose an old Cessna 150 which has 40 degrees of flap and is more troublesome than most light aircraft when handled carelessly in the go around phase.

Go around then from just above the runway, due to a large bounce or balloon, with 40 degrees of flap selected down.

APPLY  FULL POWER, CARB AIR COLD,  keep the a/c in balance  =  rudder = ball in the middle

(mixture should be fully rich before application of full power)

MAINTAIN LEVEL FLIGHT ATTITUDE FOR   40 (or 30) DEGREES OF FLAP.

Beware of a very  large upward pitch change but don’t trim it off just yet-hold the aircraft in level flight so that some excess airspeed is built up.

You must remember if you are flying level with full power and gaining airspeed you are safe-if you allow the aircraft to pitch up and wash all the speed off you will be anything but safe- hold the aircraft level.

Airspeed is lifeblood – Altitude is life insurance

LIFT 10 DEGREES OF FLAP ONLY –– resist the temptation to lift all the flap at this stage as this will cause some undesirable pitch/ attitude changes with sink which may put you back on the runway. As you lift the flap adjust the nose attitude slightly higher to prevent descent- no abrupt control movements, be content with level flight still. However If you do touch the runway don’t be alarmed it’s not uncommon in any aircraft, stay cool and stay with it.

What you must not do is try to put the aircraft into the normal climb attitude you are used to because you run a very real chance of reducing the speed very quickly and stalling the aircraft. A stall at this altitude with full flap and full power will most likely result in a very serious accident. For this reason it is essential to practice this manoeuvre with a qualified instructor who is current on type.

The climb out attitude with 30/40 degrees of flap is VERY FLAT but as always  fly ATTITUDE FOR AIRSPEED.  Glance at the ASI but don’t become distracted. I guarantee with 30 degrees of flap and a normally loaded C150 on a normal elevation and temperature UK day with full power you will climb away but you need to fly accurately.

(I demonstrate to students full flap take offs and circuits to show that the aircraft is well capable if handled correctly)

It takes two seconds to lift 10 degrees of flap on early Cessna 150s (no flap gates on the early C150s with electric flaps) so count 1000 and one 1000 and two. Now trim for the climb out speed . Do not make any extreme pitch changes, BE GENTLE and keep your hand on the throttle ensuring you have full power.

Once you are sure that attitude and airspeed are correct lift another 10 degree of flap and re-trim. By this stage you should now be climbing away safely.

When you have 20 degrees of flap climb to your normal flap retraction altitude( 2-300 feet) and lift the flap in two stages.

Resist the temptation to speak to ATC until you are safely established in the climb and have some spare brain capacity and always remember:

AVIATE –  NAVIGATE – COMMUNICATE in that order.

Unless its Stevie Wonder in the tower they will have seen your go around anyway!

When you feel its safe to do so;    RT call— Golf  XRay Charlie Going Around.

Lift the remaining flap at a safe altitude as recommended by your flying school/club  (generally 2-300ft)

To summarise for most light aircraft using FULL flap.

FULL POWER –CARB AIR COLD

MAINTAIN BALANCE–KEEP STRAIGHT

MAINTAIN LEVEL FLIGHT ATTITUDE WHILE LIFTING ONE STAGE OF FLAP (maintaining level flight allows the aircraft to accelerate more quickly)

ADOPT CLIMB ATTITUDE FOR DRAG FLAP CLIMB (this needs to be demonstrated and taught by your instructor)

WHEN REASONABLE RATE OF CLIMB ESTABLISHED  LIFT ANOTHER STAGE and RE-TRIM (total flap now 20 degrees)

LIFT REMAINING FLAP AT A SAFE ALTITUDE. (Dont ever dump flap in one go and yes it is possible with a non electric lever operated flap)

RT CALL WHEN SAFE TO DO SO

AFTER TAKE OFF CHECKS  — ENSURE ALL FLAP LIFTED UNLESS REQUIRED

FULL FLAP GO AROUNDS NEED TO BE PRACTICED FIRST WITH AN INSTRUCTOR

Also Consider

Use of drag flap will reduce rate of climb and angle-if your climb path is performance limited you need to very careful.

Hot & high degrades aircraft perfomance reducing excess power means less available power.

Consider you will be higher over the upwind runway end, is there anyone joining from the dead side? Keep a good LOOKOUT dont fixiate on the go around.

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2 thoughts on “Flying A Low Level Go Around With Full Flap

  1. I had to go around this week due to x-wind. I only had 20degree of flap selected but still noticed the challenge of flying the climb out. Thanks for sharing your words. It’s a good reminder that we should be practising those go arounds with flaps at regular intervals!

  2. Always take your time with the go around-I once had the horrible experience of landing over a Cessna 150 at Coventry that had crashed short of the runway killing the student who was on a solo cross country from High Wycombe. He had lost control on a full flap go around.

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