What is TO/GA on Boeing 737? (Takeoff/Go–Around)

Takeoff/Go–Around (TO/GA) is a crucial phase of flight on the Boeing 737 aircraft. It refers to the actions taken by the flight crew to initiate the aircraft’s departure from the ground or to initiate a missed approach during landing. TO/GA is a command that instructs the aircraft’s engines to increase power and accelerate for takeoff or go-around.

During the takeoff phase, TO/GA is used to ensure that the aircraft has enough power to climb safely after becoming airborne. It provides the necessary thrust to accelerate the aircraft to its takeoff speed and maintain a positive rate of climb. In case of an aborted takeoff or a rejected landing, TO/GA can be activated to quickly accelerate the aircraft and climb away from the runway.

How is Takeoff/Go–Around Executed?

Executing a Takeoff/Go–Around on a Boeing 737 involves specific procedures that the flight crew must follow to ensure a safe and efficient operation. Here are the steps typically involved:

1. Thrust Lever Movement

When the flight crew decides to initiate a TO/GA, they first move the thrust levers to the TO/GA detent. This position signals the engine control system to provide the necessary thrust required for the maneuver. The TO/GA detent is located on the thrust levers and provides a tactile stop to ensure the crew can easily identify the correct position.

2. Autopilot Engage

After setting the thrust levers to the TO/GA detent, the flight crew engages the autopilot. The autopilot system helps maintain the desired pitch attitude and track the designated flight path, ensuring a precise and controlled climb during takeoff or go-around. The autopilot operates in conjunction with the flight director system, which provides guidance to the pilots.

3. Positive Rate of Climb

As the aircraft accelerates and becomes airborne, the flight crew monitors the flight instruments to confirm a positive rate of climb. Once a positive rate of climb is established, the pilot flying (PF) retracts the landing gear and calls for the flaps and slats to be retracted to the appropriate takeoff setting. The pilot monitoring (PM) ensures that all actions are executed correctly.

The Importance of Takeoff/Go–Around

Takeoff/Go–Around is a critical aspect of flight operations on the Boeing 737, and its proper execution is essential for safe and efficient operations. Here are some reasons why TO/GA is important:

1. Safety

TO/GA provides the necessary power to ensure safe takeoff and climb after becoming airborne. It ensures that the aircraft can clear any obstacles and maintain a positive climb gradient, reducing the risk of colliding with surrounding terrain or structures. Additionally, during a go-around, TO/GA enables the aircraft to quickly climb away from the runway and avoid any potential hazards during the approach and landing phase.

2. Operational Flexibility

TO/GA allows the flight crew to adapt to changing conditions or unexpected events during takeoff or landing. In the event of an aborted takeoff, TO/GA enables the crew to quickly accelerate and climb away from the runway, minimizing the risks associated with continuing the takeoff. Similarly, during a missed approach or go-around, TO/GA facilitates a smooth transition from the approach to a safe climb, ensuring the aircraft remains under control and in compliance with established procedures.

3. Pilot Proficiency

TO/GA provides an opportunity for flight crew members to maintain and enhance their piloting skills. By regularly practicing and executing takeoffs and go-arounds, pilots develop muscle memory and situational awareness, improving their ability to handle critical situations. The consistent use of TO/GA procedures also ensures standardization and promotes a unified approach to flight operations among pilots.


Takeoff/Go–Around (TO/GA) is a fundamental maneuver on the Boeing 737 aircraft that plays a crucial role in ensuring safe and efficient flight operations. By following established procedures and utilizing the TO/GA function, flight crews can confidently initiate takeoffs, execute missed approaches, and adapt to changing conditions or emergencies. The proper execution of TO/GA enhances safety, provides operational flexibility, and contributes to pilot proficiency, making it an indispensable part of the Boeing 737’s flight capabilities.

For more information on Takeoff/Go–Around procedures and other aspects of aviation, you can check out this comprehensive Boeing article on the subject.

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