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Pilot explains why planes go back up into the air after almost landing

Pilot explains why planes go back up into the air after almost landing

Ever been on a flight you thought was going to land only for it to return to the skies?

Ever been on a plane which has been heading for the runway and almost touched down, only to pull up and go back in the air instead of landing?

It's something a lot of passengers have experienced on their travels but they're often left wondering why the plane didn't touch down when they could see the runway right below them.

Fortunately for the curious among you today's the day you find out exactly why that is, with United Airlines pilot and TikToker Kyle Koukol making a video to reveal the reasons why.

Passengers commented to say they were 'terrified' by the experience and found it 'unsettling' since it makes them thing there's something wrong with the plane.

Fortunately it's usually nothing so worrying as the pilot revealed that there are a few things which could cause a flight not to land just yet.

United Airlines pilot Kyle Koukol explained why planes didn't always land.

Speaking on TikTok, Kyle said he'd recently been a passenger on a flight where the pilots decided to abort their take-off 50 feet above the ground.

He said: "That's called a 'go around' and it's actually something the pilots train for all the time. So why would you do a go around?

"Well, as pilots we actually have gates that we're supposed to meet as we descend the airplane to the runway, they're at 1,500 feet, 1,000 feet and 500 feet and if we miss any of those gates we would do a go around.

"Another reason that we would do one is if there's traffic on the runway, the winds suddenly change, any reason that we think it's not a perfectly opportune time to land the airplane we'll go around and just line back up for it once again."

To be honest that all sounds pretty reasonable, if you're strapped into a giant metal tube with wings and hurtling towards the ground at great speed you'd want to make sure the landing was as safe as possible.

If the pilot reckons they'd rather have another go that can be enough for a go around.
Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Pilot Kyle explained that planes weren't just doing this for the fun of it as there was plenty of work involved in carrying out the move.

"From a flight deck perspective the go around gets busy for just a minute because we're changing the thrust on the engines, we're reconfiguring the flaps, reconfiguring the landing gear and just getting new instructions from the air traffic controllers," he said of all the things which happen when a plane is about to land and pulls away.

"It's something we brief before every landing but it does take us a minute to get everything cleaned up and then we will typically come on and make a PA announcement talking about why we went around and what to expect over the next few minutes."

Now you know something, which really is half the battle and since you're probably not a pilot it's still someone else's job to land the plane.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok / dial_a_pilot / Instagram / kylekoukol

Topics: Travel, TikTok