Air Force One Executes Missed Approach in Connecticut with President Obama On Board

May 18, 2011 10:47am

ABC News’ Lisa Stark (@lisastark) reports:    Air Force One executed a missed approach on its first attempt to land today at Bradley Field in Connecticut, circling the airport before making a successful landing on the second try.  The FAA said visibility was “below the minimum,” meaning the pilots couldn’t see the runway from the altitude required for landing due to thick cloud cover.  They were coming in to Runway 6 on instrument approach.  Weather at the field at the time was overcast with visibility of 1.5 miles and cloud ceiling 300 feet to 1000 feet variable. Sources said the attempt was not a touch-and-go or dramatic maneuver that would have caught attention from those on the ground.   “A missed approach is ‘called’ by the pilot in command of an aircraft or the aircraft crew at any point in the approach to an airport on aninstrument approach,” an aviation expert told ABC News.  “It simply means that the pilot was uncomfortable completing the approach due to visibility, cloud ceiling, or any number of reasons.  The radar controller simply ‘vectors’ the aircraft back around for another approach,” he said. “It is a way of being safe rather than completing an approach that is not deemed to be a good one.  Happens all the time, even for commercial and military flights.” Members of the press on board Air Force One said they didn’t notice anything abnormal occurred.  Assistant White House press secretary Nick Shapiro confirmed the go-around, adding it only briefly delayed the president.  “They circled around and landed safely a few minutes later, at 10:05 a.m.,” Shapiro said. “The pilot was in the process of landing, but due to weather the pilot decided to circle around and then landed the plane. This is a standard and safe procedure.”

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