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Monthly Archives: September 2009

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“Uh, roger, I’m going missed.”

“Going missed” is an aviation term. It describes when an aircraft is approaching an airport to land, but circumstances (approaching too fast, too high/low, unstable approach, insufficient visual contact with the airport in line with regulations, windshear/strong tailwinds) make it potentially unsafe to continue the approach and execute the landing.

Flying a missed approach is following predetermined route (different for each airport and runway) that aircraft are expected to fly in the event they must abandon their landing attempt, so that air traffic controllers and other pilots in the vicinity have a degree of predictibility in what pilots are doing. Generally, the missed approach route helps reposition aircraft so they can make another attempt at landing.

In today’s case, I think it is a nice metaphor for the events of this morning thus far. I was up quite late last night (2am-ish) between a hall event, prepping for Friday, and my omnipresent insomnia. Therefore, I woke up at around 9:30am. I had a class at 9:10am.

“Oops, going missed…”

I managed to collect myself and get out the door in time for my first work shift, which I did make it to (and I am sitting in right now)

“Circling around for another attempt.”

It is good to clarify that “going missed” is NOT a signifier of a bad pilot. Often it is safer and more prudent to “go missed” instead of continuing a potentially unsafe maneuver. This is not a metaphorical attempt to justify missing class, but rather a reevaluation that missing class is not a deal-breaker for the rest of the day/week/semester. It’s all about the perspective.

In conclusion, I am reminded of the old tired saw, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” I find this rather problematic, so my modified chocolate chunk of wisdom reads, “If at first you don’t succeed, reevaluate your approach.”

Happy Friday!