reply to post by SonicInfinity
Sorry...a non-event. (Only made the news because of the current attention to ATC personnel....of, and BTW...it was Andrews AFB!
are all military...NOT civilian ATC people).
Story like this does demonstrate that most who report, in the media, have no friggin' clue what they write, and over-zealously make bigger deals out
of things then they warrant.
A go-around happens every day, somewhere in the US....and, take into account the entire aviation world? Increase the numbers accordingly.
The primary thing that is missed, by amateurs and laypeople is: The pilots do NOT "rely" on ATC!!! Professional pilots are aware of their
surroundings, and operations...."situational awareness" is a common phrase. (Yes, there are historically a tiny number of human error accidents,
due to pilot distractions and poor planning/forethought and procedure....but, far fewer nowadays though).
The general rule of thumb, for Local Controllers ("Tower") is when the approaching (landing) airplane is just about to cross the end of the arrival
runway, AND the runway is not yet cleared....either by the prior arrival, or one crossing, etc....then, a go-around is ordered. Of course, the pilots
are expecting it....we can see the situation developing, and sometimes just shake heads in (minor) annoyance, at either the slowness of the guy ahead,
in exiting...OR, in hindsight, the lack of proper separation earlier, that led to the spacing getting a bit too close.
There was just an article in the Washington Post
last week....(slow news day) and related how "shaken up" passengers will be. It is
overblown, of course....and from the crew's standpoint, it is quite busy for the few minutes...takes time before one can take a moment to make a
reassuring PA to the cabin. So, people feel hat they "aren't informed", when in fact, they just don't understand the technical details.....and
that it's a very routine, and practiced (in every regular refresher training cycle, either every six or twelve months, for US pilots) procedure.