From the Desk of the Chief

Jesse Gamueda, Chief Pilot WVFC jesse@wvfc.org

Go Around!

For those of you who don’t know me or haven’t had a chance to speak with me I am not surprised as there are close to 1000 pilots at the WVFC. 

My name is Jesse and I come from a land far away.  Known in certain circles as the Rocky Mountains and to the locals around my neighborhood; Denver Colorado. 

So this is not my first go around in a new position and I’m sure it won’t be my last.  I am confronted with a new culture in aviation.   Not so much an unknown, rather a different but welcomed one. 

That new culture is being in an organization that not only provides a service for a membership but hopefully an environment where safety can play a large role in the decisions we make.  Those decisions not only in the sky, but in the days, hours, and minutes up to and after your journey into the blue yonder. 

As the new chief pilot I am mainly tasked with making safety decisions for the organization, not unlike your flight instructors, phase check pilots or check out instructors, just on a much broader scale.  And to develop, implement, or simply enforce those decisions already in existence.   

I find that the current instructor core is highly capable with helping you develop that safety culture.   With that being said; I would like to add my own two cents to an already fantastic set of regulations that I’m positive the aforementioned professionals have already discussed with you. 

The GO-AROUND!  The go around is a very simple maneuver that does not require a great skill set but rather a thought process that allows you to say, “I need to go around”. It’s a fantastic maneuver that simply begs you to make the right decision.  The thought process behind the go around is one that gives you an “out” if you will, to certain things that didn’t develop the way you may have planned.  We always aspire to the perfect landing, hoping that no one in the a/c will feel the tires touching the ground. But the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

However we in the aviation community also have the “perfect recovery” for our best laid plan.  Our secret weapon to give us a second chance to prove to perhaps no one else but ourselves that we’ve practiced good judgment in our decision making process. Often times we come in on final too fast and further mitigate the process by trying to lower the nose, convincing ourselves that we need to lose altitude quicker. Or perhaps we in fact do touch down at the right speed and bounce, but instead of going around, we force the yoke (stick for you tail wheel junkies) forward and create an even bigger pucker moment.     

All food for thought when considering the GO AROUND.

Implementing the GO-AROUND 

Very simply… if that little voice in the back of your mind is screaming- “Not Good” or “Too fast” or maybe even “boy that lunch was fantastic” then you should start thinking – Go around!

Not rocket science I know.  But this is precisely why it’s a brilliant “out” in our bag of tricks!  This article could be written with another 3 pages of facts/statistics/considerations.  But then it would lose its simplicity to technicality. And this is the last thing that we want to complicate!

So let us review: if in your mind, you want to dive the aircraft to lose altitude; you see two white lights, two red lights or fire truck lights while approaching the runway; if you have more airspeed then is required for a landing; or perhaps the wind changed or is beyond your personal minimums, the go-around is for you.  It must be one of the options in your arsenal of safety.  One great plus, no one will blame or ridicule you for.   In fact you’ll join the ranks of professionals who everyday have to make more judgment calls than skill set demands! 

In closing, thank you for humoring me.  I appreciate you finishing the article, if in fact you’ve made it this far.  But more importantly we at WVFC are in a unique environment with our two airports in that we have 2600 ft. or less of runway.  A challenge for even seasoned aviators!

I simply ask that you begin utilizing this one maneuver that could save your ego, our aircraft, or most importantly, lives!

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