You are flying into your home airport. You have flown into this airport hundreds of times, so you know exactly what is supposed to happen every step of the way for those last few seconds before landing. And then, as you begin to expect the aircraft to touch down at any moment, the thrust of the engines intensifies and instead of touching down the aircraft begins ascending rapidly. That is exactly what happened to me a few days ago on an Avianca flight from Bogotá to San Juan.
I have been extremely lucky when it comes to flying. I have never experienced an emergency landing. I have only had one cancellation (due to a strike, so it was known days in advance). Significant delays have been rare and I can count with one hand the number of times turbulence has been scary.
I was well aware of what an aborted landing or go-around was and instantly recognized what was happening. However, not knowing why this happened immediately afterwards made me really nervous for a few seconds. I assumed the pilot had decided to do a go-around in order to avoid a collision, but I had no idea if by aborting the landing we were already safe or if there was still any danger.
About a minute after the maneuver, the pilot calmly explained what had happened. Apparently there was a vehicle in the middle of our runaway. Not sure if the pilot was instructed to abort the landing or if it was him who noticed the vehicle and decided to abort the landing. The important thing is that somebody noticed the vehicle and that we were safe.
About 15 minutes later we landed without incident. Although perfectly normal, I sure hope not to experience an aborted landing ever again.
Have you experienced an aborted landing?
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