I live under the approach path for the Airbus facility in Hamburg and very often a Beluga executes a go-around. It is quite loud since when it pitches up the engines are pointing at my house. I wonder why this happens so often, even when it is not windy outside. What factors cause such frequent go-arounds?

I have an image here showing two failed attempts at landing in a row from a Beluga, which I find quite astounding!

Edit: Link to complete flight data of presumably the same flight on FlightAware

Beluga two failed landings

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    – Ralph J
    Oct 4 at 5:48

1 Answer 1


I wasn't on the flight deck, nor do I have inside information, so this answer is an educated guess.

I assume this is flight-training for new Beluga crews and/or license re-validation which is included in normal line operations for the sake of efficiency.

There are no spare Belugas, so if new pilots are trained or some kind of license re-validation is needed (e.g. recurrent training or training after prolonged leave due to illness / maternity/paternity-leave), training needs to happen on those aircraft that are used for day-to-day transport operations.

To minimise the impact on the transport schedule, it makes sense include the training in scheduled transport operations, for example by including a few go-arounds at the destination airport. This way, training has the least impact on schedule and it keeps the cost of training low.

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    $\begingroup$ @JoeBentley unless your city has noise ordinances that will fine them for unnecessary go-arounds, they aren't going to care about disrupting you. Or at least, not care enough to cost the company money by doing it somewhere else. $\endgroup$
    – mbrig
    Oct 2 at 20:40
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    $\begingroup$ @JoeBentley because "just training" is a very important part of safely operating an aircraft. It needs to be done at an airport, and Airbus happens to own the airport and is virtually the sole user of it. So without causing extra fuel costs for ferrying the aircraft to a training airport, and not interfering with other (airline) operations at the airport, it seems a good choice. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Oct 2 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ Is this a thing that any other (freight) airlines are known to do? Adding go-around training into a scheduled flight? $\endgroup$
    – user253751
    Oct 3 at 1:33
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    $\begingroup$ As a fellow Hamburg resident, they do come in pretty low and I'm sure the go-arounds are loud if you happen to be in the right(/wrong) place. But I'd advise people to take the suggestion that this causes any meaningful disruption to "a very busy area of the city" with a pinch of salt. $\endgroup$
    – Chris H
    Oct 4 at 10:21
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    $\begingroup$ Having lived in that area for a while and worked for airbus, yes, that, and additionally landing in finkenwerder isn't the easiest sometimes, the relatively (to other airpors in the area) approach and the changing water/city body together with the beluga not being the most stable aircraft either. Some of their landing look like crosswind hurricane while standing at the airfield you wonder if there is any wind going at all... $\endgroup$
    – PlasmaHH
    Oct 4 at 10:42

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