Video: Go-Around Cockpit View

Another quick video for you of a go-around, this time filmed from the cockpit. If you have a fear of flying, a go-around can seem a pretty scary event. As you can tell from this video though, it is a completely normal procedure. Notice how Air Traffic Control are asking the plane in front to hurry up and vacate the runway, before instructing the Finnair pilots to go-around due to traffic. ATC do a great job of ensuring we are safe, in this case by not allowing to aircraft to be on the same runway at the same time..... … [Read more...]

Video: Go Around (Missed Approach)

A go-around (sometimes called a missed approach) is a perfectly normal procedure. At the time of writing, I have experienced four go-arounds in approx 3,000 flights - so although it is a normal procedure, it's also relatively rare. But, you may experience one on your next flight, or maybe you've already done so and didn't know what was going on. Watch this video of a missed approach with Air Traffic Communications and continue reading the article below where I will discuss possible reasons. So, now you have seen a view of a missed approach, let's talk about possible reasons and the procedure involved. The term 'missed approach' is actually a bad one as it implies the pilots have made a mistake. This is not true. It simply means any … [Read more...]

First Time Flying? A Video of Take-Off

As I've had many emails from first time flyers with questions along the lines of 'what is take-off like?', I have a quick video for you showing a typical take-off from Madrid Barajas Airport. NB: The odd noise you can hear as we go down the runway is my camera moving against the window - it's not the plane. You would not hear this noise during take-off. Hope the video helps....... Just hit the play button and enjoy. … [Read more...]

Monarch’s Three Rejected Take-Offs

You may or may not have seen this story featured in the UK media, but for those of you that have it's simply another example of bored journalists sensationalising stories in order to sell papers - and generally breeding a fear of flying amongst the general public. In fact, SKY News reported that the passengers were 'evacuated' after each failed take-off attempt. The word evacuation implies an emergency situation. In truth, the passengers disembarked … [Read more...]

Fear of Flying: Bird Strikes (Video)

As a follow on from my recent comments regarding the US Airways incident in New York a few days ago, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the implications of bird strikes on commercial aircraft. I've previously mentioned that bird strikes are relatively common. Although I've only experienced it once in 3000 flights. During a landing in Rome one or more birds flew into our left engine. The landing continued as normal, and the passengers were not even aware of the event. As a precaution, engineers … [Read more...]

The Fear of Flying: What is a Rejected Take-Off

Many people's fear of flying stems from a previous bad experience whilst flying. I had an email conversation with a reader yesterday. This person had not been on a plane for 12 years due to what she described as an emergency on her last flight. Naturally, I wanted to hear the details to enable me to better understand her fear. She described the incident as follows;  … [Read more...]

What to Expect When Flying: Pre-Departure (Part 2)

Yesterday I began to describe the events and noises you can expect to see and hear before take-off. So, let's continue..... Other noises you may hear at this point will be mainly hydraulic. The pilots will be working through their initial pre-flight checks and this may involve use of hydraulic systems. When the luggae hold doors are closed you can either hear a metal 'clunking' noise or a whining noise - dependant on aircraft type.  … [Read more...]

What to Expect When Flying: Pre-Departure

Welcome to the first in a series of articles detailing what to expect when flying. My aim in this series is to better prepare you for your flight (whether it's your first flight, or not) by detailing all the events, procedures and noises that you can expect to see or hear. Whereas I will try and include everything, please do not be alarmed if something I do not mention happens on-board. In such a case I recommend that you simply ask a Flight Attendant to explain anything you are unsure of...... So, let's talk about what to expect before take-off.   … [Read more...]