Executing missed approach understanding

Hi All!
I’ve been wondering what the Execuing missed approach is used for. The times I’ve used it is when I was doing pattern work and when I was turning, I went too far out and couldn’t get in line of the runway. Is this correct? And if there are any other uses for this please let me know!

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I’ll leave it to the experts, but I’m sure it is used if you go around during your approach, not during final. That’s what I know.


If you’re doing pattern work, it’s best to use the ‘go around’ call if you’re in short final. This is assuming you’re flying GA and flying small patterns inside the towers controlled airspace.

A ‘missed approach’ is used more for Instrument procedures, for example at the decision height or at the missed approach point, when the runway environment is not yet in sight, or the aircraft is not properly configured etc. After the missed approach, you will follow the missed approach procedures in the chart / plate and wait for further ATC instructions.

In short, if you’re on a short final and you mess it up, best just to call ‘going around’. If you are at the start of the ILS cone (or further out, or around that distance) and need to ‘go missed’, for example you may be already 500 feet too high, then use the ‘missed approach’ command as you have deemed it unsuitable to continue the ‘approach’


If your on final the go around command should be used. Im not 100% sure but I think it can be used when you are coming in too high and you need to execute another approach.

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The way I understand it, and very happy to be corrected, is that if you are on Approach and above 1500 AGL at that stage if you consider it is not safe to proceed (too high/low, too fast or don’t consider the runway to safe to land on etc) then that is when you call “Missed Approach”. At this stage normally still with an Approach Controller rather than Tower.

Go-Around is called when you are below 1500 AGL and you decide that it is not safe to land (runway incursion etc) at which case you Go- Around.

In both cases there are published details of what you need to do for that airports charts, but in general you put the gear up, increase speed to 250kts, and increase height to about 3000ft AGL. Keep the heading the same as the runway normally until you have reached the right altitude and re-enter the pattern or contact Approach as directed.


It doesn’t have anything to do with your altitude in the approach.

As per my previous comment, Under Instrument Rules, it’s a missed approach. You fly the published missed approach procedure unless otherwise instructed by ATC. There is no ‘generic procedure’ to follow as all published ones can be completely different for a variety of reasons. The safest thing in IF is to climb and turn away from any other conflicting traffic.

A go around is for VFR and GA, or under IFR / commercial aviation, if you are in short final, miss the flare, get wind shear, runway incursion.

In simplest terms, they really mean the same thing.

As I said, in IF, if you are flying a commercial airliner, if you are on the approach, and decide to abort the approach, it’s a ‘missed approach’. If you are on short final, all configured for landing, and mess up the flare or have an incursion (for example), then it’s probably best to call it a ‘go around’. If you are flying GA patterns, then it’s definitely just a ‘go around’ as you are not flying any published approaches or dealing with an approach frequency

Another way of looking at it, again as per above, is once you’ve crossed the ‘final approach fix’ or ‘decision height’, and have decided to continue. You are technically past the ‘approach’ phase. If you continue and then need to abort the landing, as you are past the ‘FINAL APPROACH fix’ you would not call ‘missed approach’ as you successfully completed the published approach. You are now on short final and would call a ‘go around’. This is just a generic comment though, as some final approach fixes can be at 1500 or 2000 feet for example (REEBO at 2000 feet on the RNAV 27 KSAN). I’d probably call a missed approach in IF if I was still at 1800 feet even if I had passed the real world 2000 feet final approach fix


thanks for the correction, though from the point of view of IF we are saying a very similar thing, the height I gave was as a rough example and as I said it will vary airport to airport and even runway by runway depending on the published charts.

The OP had seemed to state about announcing ‘Go-Around’ after clearing the runway which of course is a different matter.


In short a Missed approach is anytime you want to try again while on approach or before the final approach fix.

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