So when I use to work at Daresbury and we all loved to wrap things in the civil service red tape and bureaucracy we had a lovely thing called a “near miss”. A near miss was an accident or I think now more correctly an incident that had not happened but nearly or could have happened. You could say global nuclear war was a near miss but I wouldn’t the paper work alone for that would be very great indeed.
Why am I now ranting about the arcane near miss ritual of the lesser employed Daresbury laboratorian? Well on my return flight back from lesser south of London Heathrow to the greater North of Manchester airport the plane I was flyng on decided for what appeared at the time no go reason to stop its decent on landing and to suddenly to accelerate full engines and turn to the right. Now just before this my body was under the impression that I was still in Berekeley CA and that it was time for me to go to sleep. Thankfully the small adrenalin rush produced by the sudden on sought of engine noise and altitude corrected this wrong impression.
The reason why the British Airways flight could not land on its first attempt was simple, another plane was on the runway and rather selfishly had decided to stay there and not move! The pilot rather calmly came over the cabin speaker to inform all of us now awaken and slight bemused passengers that we had undertaken a standard “Landing Abort or Go-Around”. Now that sounds fine, what no it doesn’t anything with the words standard and abort and then go-around I’m sure should not be used in the same sentence other than it is not standard to need to abort landing and go-around. So in honour of the rather quick thinking and talented pilot of plane who choose this manoeuvre I give you the “near miss”. We nearly landed on another plane but we didn’t, we missed it!