Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 Performs Go Around After Unstable Approach


A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 with registration B-KQM was operating flight CX-252 from London Heathrow to Hong Kong, when this incident took place.


The Cathay Pacific B777 has to perform a go-around at Hong Kong Photo: JetPhotos

The flight had departed London Heathrow on March 30th and arrived at Hong Kong International Airport on March 31st.

The aircraft was cleared for an Instrumental Landing System (ILS) approach on runway 07L, but as it neared for landing, it started deviating, appearing to cross over to 07R, as reported by The Aviation Herald.



The aircraft began to turn right, deviated off the extended runway center line of 07L when it was descending at about 850 feet and it initiated a critical go-around at about 750 feet.


CX-252s flight path approaching at Hong Kong Photo: FlightRadar24

The aircraft then climbed on a heading of 090 degrees, instead of the correct 071 degrees which was required for approach to 07L at Hong Kong Airport.

After holding at 090 degrees, the Boeing 777 crossed the threshold of runway 07R at about 2000 feet. Runway 07R is used as a departure runway at Hong Kong.



The aircraft then started to turn left onto a heading of about 059 degrees and climbed to 5,000 feet being subsequently instructed to climb to 6,000 feet.

CX-252 made successful landing after a go-around Photo: FlightRadar24 

After the crew reported they were ready for second approach to runway 07L, the aircraft made a safe landing, 20 minutes after the go-around.

Upon query by the ATC at Hong Kong Airport, the crew reported that the reason for this go-around was an ''unstable approach".



According to IATA, a "Stable Approach" is defined as one when these factors are controlled within specific range:

  • Altitude
  • Flightpath trajectory
  • Airspeed
  • Rate of descent
  • Engine thrust
  • Aircraft configuration

Therefore, an approach is considered "Unstable" when at least one of these factors is misfunctional.



The aircraft used was 6 years old Photo: JetPhotos

In this case, the aircraft's trajectory had deviated outside what was acceptable for a safe approach after analyzing the flight path of the flight CX-252.

The Boeing 777-300 used was delivered to Cathay Pacific on April, 2014 and is just 6 years old, according to planespotters.net . 

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