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Go Around at SFO

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  • Go Around at SFO

    Did anyone catch that go around at KSFO Saturday afternoon local time PST? I think it was an American Airlines flight from JFK. Came in at an usual path high over the east bay and turned very quickly to catch the glide slope into KSFO. The flight was fully defined on my ADS-B receiver. It was an usual approach and sure enough the flight did a go around because it was too high and fast.

    Did a google search but could find nothing on it and don't remember what flight number it was. But it was a large airliner from JFK to SFO and 90 percent sure it was American Airlines.

  • #2
    Aircraft do go arounds every day all over the world for reasons that are not news worthy. It could be runway blocked, lost separation, unstable approach, even cabin crew not finished preparing the cabin. Lots of reasons - they go around and land the second time without much fuss.


    • #3
      The unusual thing about this flight path is it came in from the north of the Golden Gate and and passed over KSFO heading SE over the San Mateo bridge on the east side very close to OAK then made a very sharp U-Turn south of the San Mateo bridge. It was a very unusual flight path and when it was a go around it was not surprising to me as to make that sharp of a U-turn from SE to NW at that altitude would have required a relatively high air speed. The flight descended to under 1000 feet over the runway and my ADS-B receiver tracked it the whole way in. It looked like pilot error to me. Clear day no wind or obstacles. The normal path for flights from the north is to fly west of the mountains and come in over Half Moon Bay area. Or they come in from the east Just north of San Jose (my area) from the east and descend just north of KSJC and make a gradual turn around the edge of the bay towards the NW to avoid KSJC and KOAK traffic.

      It's probably still fresh in the archives of LiveATC if anyone knows what flight that was. I think it was a 737 but it was a regular AA flight from JFK to SFO.
      Last edited by Sam26K; 2016-06-07, 06:55.


      • #4
        I'm not sure if this is what you think about but AAL67 arrived from JFK at 03:13 UTC. It passed over the airport at around 10.000 feet from the north, then descended and landed on runway 28L without any incident. No go around.


        • #5
          That flight path is similar but this one I witnessed was well east of that normal path requiring the pilot to turn more than 360 degrees in the opposite direction to line up with the glide slope than the usual direction. Also, the flight passed well under 1000 feet over the runway. Closer to less than 500 feed before the go around. I was watching it live with my receiver and do receive almost all SFO traffic above about 300 feet.

          It may have well been an AAL67 flight but it wasn't the normal path that loops around from the west. The path looks very similar but the pilot was about 30 miles too far east to make the loop requiring to loop in the opposite direction. It looked like pilot error to me when the flight started that path.

          To clarify, the normal flight path for that flight is rotating counter-clockwise from south heading to a north heading well west of KSFO, this flight was east of the KSFO glide slope for runways 28 and turned clockwise from south heading to a north heading. It put it into KOAK airspace (west of KOAK and heading south) and in the opposite direction of almost all the traffic in the area. It looked like a serious error to me and thankfully nothing happened. But it should be investigated.
          Last edited by Sam26K; 2016-06-07, 08:14. Reason: clarification


          • #6
            If you can't be specific about when and you can't find it with playback then I don't think we will get closer to and answer.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kpin View Post
              If you can't be specific about when and you can't find it with playback then I don't think we will get closer to and answer.
              I'm a bit mad at myself for not writing down the flight number. But I did tune into KSFO LiveATC just in time to hear the clearance for landing after the go around. I was hoping by posting here that someone else would remember which specific flight that was .


              • #8
                Hey! It happened again and this time I captured all the data including the LiveATC tower audio. It's an American Airlines flight from JFK to SFO and probably the same pilot "hot dogging" the landing. The flight came in under 1000 feet of the runway, aborted the landing and did a go around that lasted about 30 minutes or so.

                Here is the summary playback link on FR24 and even free members can probably still look up the 12x playback.:


                • #9
                  As a follow up to this post, I posted the LiveATC audio on youtube that proves that this pilot was hot dogging the landing. Saw the same thing happen a few weeks ago and I don't watch this all the time.

                  "..reason for go around...?"..."...ah, we came in a bit too high...".