I have read about the missed-SFO-accident and watched the 2:22 movie. I want to ask about going-around (or canceling takeoff) when the pilot is fully aware of an emergency that the tower is not (or is late at acting).
According to the reconstruction of the real missed-accident done by the news:
- Air Canada pilot was on final cleared to land, but instead heading to taxiway for reason that will be explained after FAA & TSB investigations
- Tower did not notice and did not complain, clearance was still ok
- Pilot double-checked with tower because he saw lights on the ground
- Tower double-confirmed clear to land
- Other pilot on queue said "where is this guy going?"
- Tower requested go around
- Air Canada flight crew initiated go around.
The order of the last two events is currently not clear and subject to investigation.
In the movie both ingoing and outgoing pilots are scared by the sight of each other but ATC Dylan doesn't command action until the last moment, while clearance to land and take off is still granted for both.
It is clear that in the movie ATC has failed and pilot(s) are aware of a real danger that affects the safety of flight operation.
Like a driver sighting an animal on the road and braking (or worse moosing) without calling the police first. I am no pilot, I understand that flight is definitely different from driving. And I also enjoyed my time on MSFS virtual flight school. I said the above because I know it could be disappointing for experienced pilots.
I want to ask for my culture/curiosity: when a pilot is cleared to takeoff/land but sees a legitimate reason to cancel the maneuver (e.g. stop/go around), can he simply advise the tower that he is doing that or must continue as earlier instructed? AFAIK when an indicator indicates failiure at < 80kt speed the pilot can immediately cancel takeoff, otherwise is required to continue.
My idea is that the Air Canada pilot could have told the tower something like "we are now fully thrusting and going around because I am not sure about the safety of this landing, please give me further instructions for looping" by his initiative.
This is allowed in the MSFS simulation (you can open virtual ATC radio and announce missed approach even a few feet above ground, they will tell you how to loop over the circuit asap). Is it allowed in reality, or do pilots need a clearance to go around?