I’m sitting here at the airport waiting on my flight and I’ve always wondered: how do airline pilots park those big birds (737s and above in size. I can understand smaller regional jets where you’re closer to the ground with better line of sight) right on the line each time? Especially for 747/A380 pilots, where you guys are basically three stories off the ground!

Line of sight below them would be tricky I’d think. Is there a camera below the nose gear or a computer guidance system for ground ops? Or is it literally just practice and skill at driving the plane while taxiing on the ground to get that perfect precision while taxiing to/from the runway and to the gate?


1 Answer 1


With respect to the B737/757/767 it is a skill, fairly easy to learn (no cameras). The pilot's learned perspective from the cockpit and surrounding area (middle of the taxiway is where the yellow line is at) provides the necessary visual cues for precise taxiing.

Similar to learning to land precisely on the centerline of a runway, once the visual perspective of where the nose wheel is at is learned, staying on the centerline with the nose wheel on the taxiway, runway, or approaching the gate becomes routine. (tight turns can be a bit more challenging)

Going into the gate you have a person or lights for assistance (perhaps some other aids at certain locations), but typically this is most useful for stopping at the precise point and normally not needed to remain on the centerline.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .