Base to final turn, overshoot final, now what?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by PaulS, May 22, 2020 at 7:51 PM.

  1. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I was following a conversation in another forum and the subject of blowing through final on your base to final turn came up. I was surprised at some of the suggestions as to what to do. Obviously, cheating the turn with rudder into a skid is a big no, no. But some suggested slipping over to get back on course, one or two said they would initiate a go around. I'm curious as to what the experts here do when it happens.

    I'm no expert, but I'll tell you what I do. Occasionally I will screw up the base to final turn, usually due to not anticipating a high cross wind at pattern altitude, sometime something distracts me like losing the traffic I'm supposed to be following. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's easy to see as you go sailing through the runway centerline.

    What I do is just stay in the turn, coordinated, sometimes you can increase the bank, but I usually turn at about 20 degrees bank and never exceed 30 in the pattern. If I see the centerline blow by, I just keep turning until I'm back on centerline, then turn the other direction as necessary to stay on the center line. Never fails me.

    It seems to me pilots get unnecessarily clenched up over this leading to bad decisions and accidents. What say you, beside don't screw it up in the first place?
     
  2. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    thats what I’d suggest. If there isn’t enough room to do that, go around and ty it again.
     
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  3. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Basically that's what I do as long as I've set up for a long enough final. But if it's not going to work out,.......
     
  4. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don En-Route

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    No more than 30 degree banks. Always stay coordinated. Go around if that doesn’t work.

    A skilled pilot can salvage a bad approach. A safe pilot doesn’t try.
     
  5. WWFeldman

    WWFeldman Filing Flight Plan

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    My instructor always says, "Go arounds are free", and he expects me to always go around if I get crossed up in the pattern instead of trying to salvage a bad approach.

    I think that makes a helluva lot more sense than trying to be cool and do anything you can to keep from going around.

    Honestly thanks to him my first instinct is too always go around unless things are close to perfect.
     
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  6. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    I fully endorse Half Fast's answer.
    Listen to it until you can sing it yourself.
     
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  7. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    now that I know he's such a yankee hater I can't endorse anything he says. in fact I think I'm gonna report everything he posts. besides that, I hate that stupid song. too country for me. any country is too much country for me. also, just don't overshoot.
     
  8. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Student solo, definitely go around.
     
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  9. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Reported
     
  10. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    reported.
     
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  11. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Just don't overshoot is a good answer too, until you overshoot. I'm fine with coming back to the final, again by just continuing the coordinated less than 30 degree turn, nothing funky. But if I'm not stable by 500 feet, then I'll go.
     
  12. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    never really understood why you'd do anything other than continuing a nice gentle coordinated turn back to final. student pilot, I understand the priority to go around, but sheesh, it shouldn't be as complicated as some people make it out to be.
     
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  13. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    I don’t care for arbitrary bank limits in the pattern.

    A 45° banked turn with the ball in the center and no excessive back pressure is WAY safer than a 15° skidded turn while pulling. There’s nothing inherently dangerous about bank, and thinking that shallow bank offers any protection from a stall/spin is just wrong.

    Yes, proper planning can preclude the need for more bank than usual, and going around is always an option. But don’t be afraid to use appropriate bank when needed. It’s not the bank that gets you, it’s insufficient bank for your rate of turn - in other words, skidding.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020 at 8:11 AM
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  14. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I can't see a situation where I'd do a 45 in the pattern, but I have no problem with you doing it if you can do it safely. 30 is my limit, if I need more, then I've screwed the pooch time to reset. I'm thinking probably in close, too fast.
     
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  15. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Well we all know the plane will explode if ya dont hit the numbers... god forbid in a plane that needs 700 feet to land we land on the first thousand foot mark... add some throttle if ya need to slow the decent and coordinated turns back on track unless ur short field.

    the problem is everyone flies these 3 miles from runway patterns and freak out if they aren't lined up on centerline for 5-10 minutes!

    Fly the darned plane, if it aint safe go around if its safe to get lined back up on final then do it!
     
  16. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I go to a grass strip sometimes that if you would like to not have to land over a tall tree, ya might be want to be able to turn the plane while on final, stabilized may not mean on centerline every time or situation too...
     
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  17. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah I really don’t understand why it’s such a complicated matter. Just correct it in a coordinated manner - it’s not that difficult.
     
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  18. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Yeah, I get it. Sometimes I ask to do s turns on final for slower planes or I'll get a 360 somewhere along the pattern. I just wanted to see what pilots here think.
     
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  19. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff

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    oh i loved the question and got the spirit of it.

    my crassness was at pilots that think only a three mile final on centerline is acceptable, not you for asking...
     
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  20. ebetancourt

    ebetancourt Line Up and Wait

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    Pardon me if I chuckle. Fly straight in, stabilized at 1.3Vs in a round engine taildragger and you can't see the runway, particularly from the pilot seat (rear) in most biplanes. Either slip all the way, do a curving final or fly at an angle to the runway and turn on short final. Depending on the width of the runway that's probably about 100 ft AGL. If it doesn't look good then, go around. I've done go arounds because I couldn't see a 5,000 ft runway on short final (started fast, then slowed down for landing). Slightly faster for a wheel landing it works to go straight in. Power-off 180s work really well.
     
  21. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    That crap happens when you don't put the steering wheel in the correct location. Slips are always fair game no matter where your steering wheel is though, or I should say castoring/steering wheel.
     
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  22. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    If I had a student routinely banking 45° in the pattern, I’d encourage him or her to plan a little better and maybe fly a tiny bit wider pattern that such turns were not necessary. But I’d be much more concerned if I saw them limit turns to some predetermined bank angle and tending to “cheat” with rudder. It’s subtle, but it can be accompanied by the student leaning away from the bank. “Bank Shy”, as it were.

    Then again, if I flew with a veteran pilot who horsed the plane around in a tight pattern with 45° of bank and the ball nailed to the center, I’d probably just sit there and marvel at their skill. Those are typically not the pilots who succumb to stall/spins on the base-to-final turn.

    This may be about the twentieth time I’ve posted this, but there’s always someone new here. Of note, excessive bank is not a contributing factor in this sequence. Trying to hurry a turn without enough bank is.

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Button hook. Dog leg. Whatever. Who cares if you aren't lined up with the center line? You get there eventually.
    The only time it matters is if there is a parallel runway just beyond. Then you turn way early and line up half way down the final if you are worried.

     
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  24. Fiveslide

    Fiveslide Line Up and Wait

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    That one at 2:24, with one main on the runway and then pull up into the roll and put it back down, didn't look like an accident.
     
  25. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    I am in the camp that putting a limit on the bank angle of turn is one of those things that people do in the name of safety but may actually be more dangerous.

    There is nothing wrong with if you don’t like anything over 30degrees, planning your pattern so you don’t
    There is nothing wrong with if you don’t like anything over 30degrees, going around if you need to.
    There is something wrong if you never practice turns over 30degrees.
    Most stall spin accidents occur when the pilot is distracted. Emergency, emergency, something else.
    By limiting youself to a specified bank angle you are training yourself to never do it, So when you get distracted you are much more likely to inadvertently use rudder to make the turn you need to do instead of aileron.
    I am total convinced that at least 9 out of 10 stall spin accidents occur because the pilot is not thinking about Stalls, usually distracted or just not thinking about the possibility of a stall. Best quote I have seen from a survivor is “I thought the elevator cable broke”. So anytime I need to practice emergency procedures or maneuver at low altitude you will hear me saying “don’t stall it”.

    Brian
     
  26. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I do the same as you Paul. Normal maneuvering. Continue a coordinated turn. If you have enough time and distance for a normal descent and landing, land. If you don't go around.

    The problem which leads to trouble in this scenario is exactly the same problem which gets people into trouble enroute. It's just a subset of missionitis - "I have to land this airplane NOW!" We don't have to prefer go-around. More like we need to give a go-around and a landing equal ego status.
     
  27. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    That a good instinct for a student. But in the real world, go arounds aren't always free. In a glider, with a dead engine, at a one-way field, etc., there may be a point where you're committed and you just need to be able to fix whatever's wrong and land. Not flying ridiculous patterns helps a lot because low and slow are the hardest to fix.
     
  28. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I understand you’re talking about the touchdown markers vs the numbers. Keep in mind, though, that even on a “long” field we need to be conscious of out touchdown point...I regularly see pilots who land “just a little farther down” enough to clearly bust checkrides, and occasionally enough to roll off the end of the runway.

    If you’re confident enough in your Ability to use the last half of a 4000-ft runway for your 700-ft landing, more power to you. But don’t blindly accept “a little farther”.
     
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  29. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    This is another thread of attempting to put all flying into “SOP” checklist always do this flying. How about Learn to fly the aircraft in every place in the envelope and develop the skills to fix something when you get out of the “normal” ops box. The faa has been driving this mentality for years. Approach to stalls instead of full stalls, the “new” slow flight etc. it’s an attempt to make flying a rote process.
    My idea, develop standard methods and learn to fly the plane to its abilities when you find yourself outside of that.

    I also do not agree with the “ max 30 degrees” in the pattern. Learn about bank angle and load factor and learn how and when to use it when you find you need it.
     
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  30. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Things we are trained to do.
    1) Steep turns. Maintain altitude. Develop the condition reflex to pull as you bank. You may not even be aware that you do it any more, but you do. We practice it enough that it is automatic. Precision is the mark of a good pilot.
    2) Line up with the center line. First time, every time. It's important. Precision is the mark of a good pilot. Conditioned reflex.
    3) Keep banks shallow in the pattern. Stall speed goes up with bank angle. We know that. We are told that over and over again. Shallow banks avoid the increase in load due to banking. I'm sure you have been told that.

    Now, you start your base to final turn late. What do we do? We have to make the turn. We have to keep the bank shallow. Keep the nose up. Focus on the bank. Pull. We pull when we turn. We have practiced it over and over. Watch the bank. Gotta line up. Keep pulling. Oh ****.

    Pilots doing what they are trained to do.

    We all know that G loading is a function of bank angle, right? We've seen the pictures, we've seen the math. In order to maintain altitude, the load has to go up as a function of 1/cosine(bank). Stall speed increases with the square root of the loading. At 60 degrees, 1/cos(60) =2g. Square root of 2g = 1.414 That's how much your stall speed goes up. 1.414 times your normal stall speed. Math! Science! Precision! FACT!!!!! (And, yes, I have seen pilots throw out that number to 4 significant digits.)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    All of you have seen the above. Many times. You don't even have to think about it. We have this burned into our brains.

    Here is the problem. There is nothing in the laws of physics that says that turns have to be level. There is nothing about the design of the aircraft that increases the g load as you bank. All of the the above is based on one bad assumption: maintaining an exact altitude happens. Somehow. It's built in somewhere. It's what you might call junk science.

    So, what causes the G load to go up? The pilot pulling on the yoke / stick in an attempt to maintain altitude. That's what we train to do. It's 100% due to the pilot, 0% due to the airplane or aerodynamics. Put someone who has never flown up front, tell them to bank into a turn, the nose will drop. They will not maintain altitude, they will not load the wings according to 1/cosine(bank). The stall speed will not go up to square root(1/cosine(bank)). They will not pass Go, they will not collect $200. How much the stall speed goes up depends on how hard they pull. How hard they will pull is unpredictable. The math doesn't work. As experienced pilots, we do better. We have that conditioned reflex to pull, we will make g loading go up in a turn. How much? It depends entirely on how well you are trained and how much effort you put into it. But, even if you are a crappy pilot like me, the stall speed in a turn will go up. But how much? Could be 1.3 time, could be 1.5, could be 1.2 could be 1.6 times. It will probably vary up and down as I go round and round and try to keep the altitude within a million or so feet. But it isn't going to be exactly 1.414. Even Bob Hoover isn't going to hit exactly 1.414. Precision to less than 1/10 of a percent? You can't even measure to that kind of precision consistently in the air. Yes, I'm talking to you, Mr. 4 significant digits.

    Science! Math! Precision! ********.

    What happens if you don't pull the exact amount? You get acceleration - you are not in vertical equilibrium, F=M*A. Altitude will vary. Roll into a turn without enough pull? Nose drops, speed increases (potentially a lot), altitude is lost at an ever increasing rate (power factors into this whole thing also) up to the point where the increase in airspeed gives you enough increase in lift to stabilize the descent. Not real likely to stall unless you pull hard in response to the airspeed increase. Pull too hard? The opposite. Airspeed decays and you gain altitude right up to the point where you stall due to increased loading and decreasing airspeed. Stall speed will not be the square root(1/cosine(bank)).

    Don't want to stall / spin on that turn?
    1) Focus on airspeed and how hard your are pulling. Pulling causes two things - increases stall speed, and causes air speed to decay. Bad combination.
    2) Don't sweat it if you overshoot the turn (unless there is a parallel runway with traffic right there).

    But, whatever you do, don't listen to me because I am not a certificated instructor.
     
  31. NordicDave

    NordicDave Cleared for Takeoff

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    Lots of good comments here from lots of good pilots. But we’re still kind of missing them the crux of the solution, need more epaulets.

     
  32. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Where did the ''no more than 30 degrees in the pattern'' come from.?? My private pilot examiner told me that more than 30 degrees was a commercial maneuver and as a private pilot to limit myself to 30 or less in the pattern.

    Some of the landing strips I used to go to, if a pilot did not turn more than 30 degrees to final then it is a no landing. Landing in a turn was just normal at some places.

    Then again, I try to keep my turns at 30 degrees or less in the pattern for passenger comfort, and if I over shoot final I just keep the turn going until I am back on course.
     
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  33. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    What's wrong with a simple S-turn to get back on the final approach course? If there is not enough time or space to get re-aligned, then a go-round is the ticket.

    FWIW, a level 45 degree turn is not the same as a descending 45 degree turn. Different wing loading, different AOA. I watch planes turning short final with more than 30 degrees of bank quite frequently at our airport. They don't fall out of the sky. And you won't fall out of the sky if you use a cross-controlled slip on final, either. (But you will descend faster, which is the whole idea.)

    I have known too many pilot owners who are terrified of slow flight,stall practice, slips, and banks over 30 degrees.
     
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  34. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    And the outcome of this accident chain is the reason the FAA changed the slow flight demonstration. They want the recovery at the stall warning (horn, buffet, whatever) to be a conditioned, automatic response that you don’t have to think about. Private pilot applicants still have to demonstrate recovery from full stalls, but the FAA doesn’t want us flying around with stall warning as a “normalized” thing. Whether or not you agree with their reasoning, there is actually some reasoning involved in that standard.

    I disagree with their reasoning for a couple of reasons. First, we don’t do enough stall training to truly make it a conditioned response. Second, even if lowering the nose is the initial response, the most critical stalls, close to the ground, are going to have a visual aspect where “doing what I’m trained to do makes the picture out the windshield too scary, and therefore I’m going to do the opposite of what I’m trained.” For the most part, the same stalls are still going to kill the same people.

    it’s not that you can’t recover from a spin entry in less than 500 feet...it’s that most of us don’t have the balls to point the nose at that blade of grass that’s filling up the windshield (it sure seems like it’s that close) long enough to get the airplane flying again.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020 at 12:06 PM
  35. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Which reminds me of when I was learning myself to fly Radio Control. As a pilot, I should know about the whole stall / spin thing. You would think. But, flying an RC glider out of a school yard - flying towards a tree line, gotta turn, more rudder, gotta turn, looks like it's going too fast (turning downwind) more elevator (2 channel system, no ailerons), guess what. Yea. After it augered into the ground (literally - penetrated about 3-4 inches), I realized that I was standing there holding full up elevator trying to recover. It wasn't until that point that I realized what had actually happened.
     
  36. whifferdill

    whifferdill Line Up and Wait

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    It's been years since I lined up with the runway prior to around 1 ft. AGL. :) No licensed pilot should sweat making a small correction to line up while still around a mile out, which is the way the majority seem to fly these days.

     
  37. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    Just fly straight in
     
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  38. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    No, it isn't.
     
  39. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Oh I do, nobody around? Going that way anyway? You betcha.
     
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  40. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I think you pretty much nail it here. Concerning a 45 degree turn, yes you are descending, but obviously, if you turn 20 or 30 degree bank, the increase in descent rate is pretty negligible, plus I notice myself instinctively giving a little pressure back to keep the descent rate consistent. I'm vigilant about airspeed so it's not an issue, airspeed trumps descent rate for me, plus I don't fly power off, so a little bump in power is not a big deal, if needed.

    At 45 degrees and beyond, you lose a significant amount of lift, if you do nothing, the nose drops, the airplane descends quickly. I think the natural reaction is not to let the nose drop, increasing back pressure, which if you don't increase power results in decaying airspeed in a turn where applying back pressure brings the stall speed up.

    But as I said before, if you want to do 45 degree turns in the pattern, go for it, just don't F it up.

    As I said in the OP, this is normal stuff for me, I blow through the final course, I just turn and get back on it. I was just surprised at some pilots saying that if you blow that turn, go around and do it again. Maybe they were students, but I didn't think so.

    On go arounds, I'll do them anytime, no big deal. I was on a checkout ride, I was on very short final in a 22T, like 150 feet above the runway, and the guy says "there's a person on the runway". So I go around. It's easy in a 22T, even at full flaps, once you get the power in it will climb at 500+ fpm. So I go through the steps, get back up to pattern altitude and the guy says to me "that was good, you're the first check I've done in a while who didn't have any issue with a go around." I was a little shocked at that comment....
     
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