Most pilots breathe a sigh of relief when they break out of the clouds and see the runway. But a landing is never guaranteed until you turn off the active runway and the spoilers are stowed.
Check out this video below of this Boeing BBJ (737 business jet) attempting to land. In the video, you’ll clearly hear ‘minimums’ with the runway still visible. This is the decision altitude where a pilot would normally commit to landing or go around. Even after the decision altitude, the pilot must still have the runway in sight at all times. In this case, the shower obscured the runway. The BBJ crew made the right decision to go around.
In an era of aviation where critics blast pilots for being nothing more than ‘system operators’, this video demonstrates why pilots are actually skilled professionals who command complex machinery in dynamic and dangerous environments. Split second decisions like this one keep passengers safe.