FlightAware: Plane arriving at LaGuardia went from altitude of 300 feet to over 3,000 feet in 2-minute span

The FAA says the procedure was safe and planned by the pilot or air traffic controller.

Jon Dowding

Aug 9, 2023, 9:23 PM

Updated 290 days ago


A passenger on an American Airlines flight says there was a close call Wednesday at LaGuardia Airport.
Data from FlightAware shows the plane, which was coming in from Chicago, had an altitude of 300 feet before climbing back up to over 3,000 feet in a two-minute span.
The passenger, Mary McCall, says the flight crew did not say anything about what happened but that it felt like they were about to land when the plane began to unexpectedly climb.
“The plane all of a sudden pulled back, and I looked out the window and there was another plane that just passed under,” McCall says. “It looked like it was going kind of perpendicular to our plane and it had just taken off.”
McCall also says it was a little bumpy and unsettling. She says other passengers also spoke up about the incident, but it was not addressed by the crew.
No injuries were reported.
McCall says she is just grateful that they landed safely.
News 12 reached out to the Federal Aviation Administration about the incident.
The agency described it as a “go-around,” saying in a statement, “An air traffic controller instructed the crew of American Airlines Flight 527 to perform a go-around at LaGuardia Airport because another flight was departing on an intersecting runway. The event happened around 1:25 p.m. local time on Wednesday, August 9. The FAA will investigate.”
The agency described the go-around procedure as “a safe, planned procedure performed at the request of a pilot or an air traffic controller. It is aimed at breaking off a landing after an approach has begun. To an airline passenger, the event may seem like an emergency maneuver, but the controller and pilot are in control of the situation and are taking the action before any unsafe condition could occur.”
Farmingdale State College Aviation Center Director Dr. Michael Canders says the go-around maneuver is one of the first lessons that young pilots learn, but it is uncommon for it to be performed.
“Most passengers won’t experience it, but certainly when they do experience it, they may have some questions because suddenly right before the landing, they’ll hear the engines spool up,” Canders says.
Several close calls have also been reported at other airports across the country recently.
The FAA says it is investigating the incident.

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