Sorry if this question is too stupid, but I wonder what would happen if a passenger on the first row just behind the cockpit (ie. on a 737) starts screaming "GO AROUND" when the plane is about to touch down. Can it confuse the pilots?

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    $\begingroup$ Related: Can pilots hear their passengers clapping on touchdown? $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Jul 12 '16 at 15:02
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    $\begingroup$ What would happen? The passenger would probably be taken away by police after landing. $\endgroup$ Jul 12 '16 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know why this questions is receiving downvotes, it's a perfectly reasonably question from someone who's a little new to aviation, there's no need to downvote. $\endgroup$
    – Jay Carr
    Jul 12 '16 at 18:18
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe if the passenger shouted "Hey, this is Ellsworth AFB, not Rapid City Municipal!" :) Seriously, though, how do you not notice that there's a line of supersonic nuclear bombers on the ramp instead of a passenger terminal? $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Jul 12 '16 at 18:39
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    $\begingroup$ "Can it confuse the pilots?" is not the same question than "Can a passenger force a Go Around?". The answer could also be different for an aircraft with an open cockpit like a Twin Otter. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jul 13 '16 at 5:32

Not likely. Pilots wear headphones, so we cannot hear the idle prattle of the pax in the hold. In any case, we don't take orders from passengers. Think about that for a second: would you like it if aircraft pilots followed the instructions of a crazy screaming passenger? What if there were TWO crazy screaming passengers giving contradictory commands? Which one should we obey?

In any case, nowadays cockpit doors are closed during flight anyway.

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    $\begingroup$ The headphones thing is the key here I think. While I obviously know you won't take orders from passengers, my point was, if hearing "go around" at the right time loud enough might trigger an unconscious reaction. I am a frequent flyer and know the door is closed, but on a 737 the first row is just one or two meters from the cockpit door, so just wondered if a loud scream could be heard inside :) $\endgroup$
    – rupps
    Jul 12 '16 at 15:18
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe you could bang in morse code on the door? $\endgroup$ Jul 12 '16 at 15:20
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    $\begingroup$ I would say that their is zero chance that the pilot flying, even unconsciously, react to a voice shouted from the cabin. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Jul 12 '16 at 15:24
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    $\begingroup$ @Simon - I'd be more worried about the unconscious pilot flying the plane than any chance of a go around. In fact, under those circumstances, I think the go around would be preferable than the inevitable crash caused by the unconscious pilot. $\endgroup$
    – Johnny
    Jul 14 '16 at 1:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Johnny Still, the unconscious pilot isn't going to react to the voices from the cabin. Simon... isn't wrong... i.imgur.com/t9Kkt8h.jpg $\endgroup$
    – corsiKa
    Jul 14 '16 at 15:12

Unless he’s shouting “cow on the runway”, I don’t even hear my copilot on finals as he mutters “too fast/slow”, “too high/low”, “left a bit”, etc., but I hear fine as we taxi and he says “Coffee’s on me”.

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    $\begingroup$ Hah! Cow on the runway! Like that would ever happen! $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Jul 12 '16 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site! This is definitely relevant, but it doesn't really answer the question. If you aren't familiar with how stack sites work then you may want to check out the tour $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Jul 13 '16 at 1:07
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    $\begingroup$ Aircraft do hit cows on runways - edition.cnn.com/2013/08/08/travel/plane-hits-cow. In Australia, sometimes strips have to be overflown to clear them of kangaroos. $\endgroup$
    – timbo
    Jul 16 '16 at 4:06
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    $\begingroup$ In India, I've been a passenger on a 14 seater plane, and it was normal practice to over fly the runway to make sure it was clear of cows (and other things) before landing. $\endgroup$ Jul 17 '16 at 19:36

No, but the passenger is likely to be arrested for causing such a disruption and face serious charges. The authorities don't react kindly to that kind of crap in a post 9/11 world.


The chosen answer is correct so far, no doubt. But in my eyes, it lacks some generality and an important point:

While it is certainly true for a 737 that a pilot won't hear you and therefore take no action, I'd add that is can be true for smaller aircrafts when you hear the passenger as they may even can speak over the intercom (say a Cessna 172). As a pilot, you have to decide, if you realize that it was a passenger screaming "go around", if you take action. You train a lot of things as a pilot, one of the most important one is to make a go around as fast as possible if anyone screams it (normally co-pilot, flight student etc) and you do not think about whether it is right or not (you assume he had a good reason) because there is no time, you better focus on the maneuver.

The conclusion is nearly the same as mentioned in other answers with the small addition that, if the pilot hears you, you may trigger it's trained reflexes and he will make a go-around.

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    $\begingroup$ Wow Mayou that was exactly the point of my question :) $\endgroup$
    – rupps
    Jul 18 '16 at 20:33
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    $\begingroup$ I would think it depends on the pilot. Some will react reflexively, others will consider the source. i.e. if my 9 year-old daughter shouted "go around" while we were on final, I would probably say, "Why?" And then I would wonder where she learned the term "go around" from... On the other hand, if we're on final and she says, "Hey look, there's a dear on the runway!" then I will definitely take notice and likely go around. My point is, the passenger would be better off to shout the reason instead of shouting "go around" if they're trying to prompt a change of course. $\endgroup$
    – hemp
    Aug 3 '16 at 7:22
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    $\begingroup$ You're absolutely right! That's why I wrote the "may", because it depends so much on who says it, how he says it, who's the pilot and on the situation, e.g. how stressed are you. If you're already under high pressure, say high crosswind, rainy, a lot of traffic and someone yells "go around", you will probably not be able to think over it. And completely agree that no passenger actually should scream "go around" but the reason. $\endgroup$
    – Mayou36
    Aug 3 '16 at 10:28
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    $\begingroup$ Yup - "force" a go around? No, not without grabbing the controls or having a chat with ATC on the sly. "Cause" a go around? Yes. There's plenty of cases of incidents where passengers have provided information that the pilot needed, including one where a passenger spotted that the wrong engine had been shut down, and the one on fire was still burning and turning. $\endgroup$
    – The Geoff
    Sep 8 '16 at 18:18
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    $\begingroup$ good point on the training reflexes. $\endgroup$ Apr 3 '19 at 23:23

If there is a legitimate need for a go-around like an emergency that the pilots can't see but the passenger can or landing at the wrong airport, then it might influence the pilots. However, that might not happen because of the conditions described by @Tyler Durden's answer.


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