Go around or Missed approach?

Is it a go around or a missed approach if I’m too high to land? (I can see the runway threshold but I’m still above 1500ft). I can’t say execute a missed approach on unicom, should I just say go around instead?

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I think go around if perfect for situation you describe as you would ordinarily be on tower frequency or unicom. If you want to see what happens when on approach frequency and you need a few extra miles to descend execute missed approach (if the controller has not already done it for you). It has never happened to me but I’ve heard it over the coms.

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Please @Playr_Mar an GA is for unicom ? Dont spread false informations here.


This is actually a great question! 😃

When with Tower ATC, we have both options, don’t we: a pilot can announce a go-around or he can announce a missed approach. I really don’t see an advantage of one over the other. In both cases you’re not going to land and in both cases you will flying around and do another approach.

  • On a go-around request, Tower ATC will respond with with ‘Roger, make left traffic, runway 27’.
  • On an ‘execute missed approach’, Tower will issue the go-around instruction.

In my view, a pilot with Tower ATC, can pick the one he wants.

Just make sure though, that you’re executing the go-around properly, and observe your sequence in case of other aircrafts.

So when you are unable to land, what do you announce with Tower ATC?

  • I announce a missed approach
  • I announce a go-around
  • I’m brave, and try anyway, and wait for Tower issuing a go-around to me

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Cmon man, was my information “false”?
SMH. Wow.
Not explained perfectly, at least not as well as others, but certainly not false.

And the only thing you manged to post was a message to me?
You could’ve done that in a PM

Thank you very much sir for clarifying my answer without singling me out in an attempt to make me look like an idiot. I noticed two peolpe uncomfortable with their answers deleted theirs. I did the best I could with layman knowledge. Don’t need people with language barrier issues singling me out. Thank u

People like you make people uncomfortable. U should think about that. It’s okay to be wrong

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Sure next time i will do a PM. But please make sure before you post something in a threat where people asking for smth they dont know, that you maybe give the right information :).

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Man…even if I give the wrong or slightly incorrect answer, which happens alot here being that not all of us are Real Life pilots, someone like @azeeuwnl who knows more will come along and correct me. Sitting in the dark scared to say something will get u TAUGHT nothing. I’m not scared to be wrong or CORRECTED. But what u said was neither helpful, nor necessary. Especially not to the person that asked the questions. Have a good night sir.


Its a very good question,

For me I announce a Go Around if am on a short final (so you will be tuned to Tower or on Unicom) and for example someone enters the runway or i am clearly going to miss the landing zone then i announce a ‘Go Around’ and fly the runway heading until i reach pattern altitude, making left or right traffic as instructed by Tower. If there is Approach active then tower will hand me off back to approach so they can vector and sequence me back in otherwise Tower will then re-sequence me

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According to Wikipedia, a missed approach should only be used " when an instrument approach cannot be completed to a full-stop landing." This may result in a Go-Around. A Missed Approach should, therefore only be utilised when an approach controller is active.

A Go-Around (flying runway heading) therefore should be used for whenever you’re on short final, or when you haven’t been cleared for an approach by an approach controller.

That’s my two cents.

More about missed approaches can be read here:


You call a go-around, apply the manoeuvre and you then conduct a missed approach. Either by following ATC instructions or following a laid down missed approach procedure.



I would copy and paste that but it’s already well written. :)


Easy answer, go around when on tower only and have not been under approach control.

If you were under approach control, were vectored into the ILS, captured it and were on the approach, and either needle deflects full to one side, announce missed approach to whatever frequency you are on at the time.

Approach control may request you take one if there is no chance of you capturing.

Tower can only request you go around and will do so if you are 3nm from the airport, are still trying to capture it and will affect other aircraft. But again tower can only issue a go around.

If you declare missed approach, tower will issue a go around with direction to fly and then hand you back off to approach to try again. The direction chosen is done so as to not affect other aircraft.

Hope this helps,


A missed approach procedure tells you how to get from climb out into a holding or to another point from where you can commence a new approach.

A go around takes an aircraft from short final to climb out directly, not touching the runway.

Source: https://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/44976/what-is-the-difference-between-a-go-around-and-a-missed-approach

Also read this one: https://forums.jetcareers.com/threads/go-around-vs-missed-approach.24892/

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I think that’s a great way to sum it up. I am not sure it does 100% justice that the input from @Adam_Williams, @Feurum and @Trio(Misha) but I think just for IF, @Adam_Macaulay’s answer seems to make most sense.

So very briefly, the answer to @anon91707592’s question:
Pilot should with Tower announce a:

  • missed approach, if he came in via an Approach ATC
  • go-around, if he just came in via Tower and no Approach was present.

I may be over-simplifying things here, but I hope we’re good with this.


A ‘Go-Around’ can be called by either the Pilot, the controller or the tower. Once the ‘go-around’ has been flown the pilot then conducts a ‘missed approach’.

If the pilot was on the approach freq and is then kicked to tower after conducting an ATC sanctioned ‘go-around’, he/she should announce they are on freq by transmitting ‘callsign, conducting standard missed approach procedure’.

The missed approach can also be flown without a ‘go-around’ if it’s very early in the procedure. ATC: ‘Callsign, approach cancelled, conduct standard missed approach’.

One is a manoeuvre, the other is a procedure.


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