At 1341 hrs on 13 September 2021, the AAIB was informed that a serious incident had occurred to Boeing 737-800, registration G-FDZF, during a go-around at Aberdeen Airport on 11 September 2021. The AAIB began an investigation assisted by the operator, the National Transportation Safety Board in the USA, and the aircraft manufacturer.
The aircraft deviated significantly from the expected flight path, initially climbing, but just before it reached the cleared altitude began to descend. It descended with a maximum rate of descent of more than 3,000 ft/min, and it accelerated to an airspeed of 286 kt (the selected airspeed was 200 kt) before the crew corrected the flightpath. The subsequent approach and landing were completed without further incident.
The pilots of G-FDZF, like many other pilots, had not flown for significant periods during the 18 months before this incident. Although the investigation has not established a link between this incident and a lack of recent line flying, it is clearly a possibility. Therefore, this Special Bulletin is published to raise awareness of this event and to highlight that go‑arounds from intermediate altitudes on an approach can provoke errors because they are not practiced frequently.