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83 votes
Accepted

What are the advantages of towbarless pushback tugs?

Advantages of towbarless pushback. You don't have to store different tow-bars for different a/c types. This is especially good for ground handlers who handle different airlines with different ...
Anilv's user avatar
  • 4,566
53 votes
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Why does the headset man not get on the tractor?

The "headset man" is a wing walker, and he is there for a reason - he is not just someone who needs a ride to where the aircraft is being pushed to. Essentially, he is an extra pair of eyes for the ...
60levelchange's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

What is the process to disconnect ground electric power before pushback?

When is the GPU disconnected? Airports have rules regarding APU use, to reduce noise and pollutants near airport gates. Airline operating procedures usually specify when to start APU and engines. The ...
mins's user avatar
  • 74.8k
18 votes
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Is it common for aircraft tugs to work from under the aircraft?

Yes, this is a perfectly normal practice, still used, especially for tight spaces, as seen in this video moving a 747 into the hangar for service. And no, it doesn't require any special equipment - ...
Fiddlesticks's user avatar
  • 3,781
17 votes

Is it common for aircraft tugs to work from under the aircraft?

While it's uncommon, it appears that many pushback tugs are specifically designed to fit underneath an aircraft like this. This wiki notes that (emphasis mine) Pushback tractors use a low profile ...
Machavity's user avatar
  • 6,213
13 votes

What are the advantages of towbarless pushback tugs?

I didn't see this mentioned in Anilv's answer so it may only apply to light aircraft. In general aviation space, towbarless tugs can also allow for 180 degrees of rotation while keeping the nosewheel ...
MattD's user avatar
  • 131
9 votes
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Can reverse-thrust be used to push back from the gate?

It has been done before but is generally frowned upon due to high fuel consumption, equipment FOD caused by debris kicked up by the fan exhaust and intake suction dangers. It is just simpler and ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 74.1k
9 votes

Why do some airports park the aircraft backwards at the gate?

This is the first time I've seen aircraft being pushed back into their parking position. Though I am no expert, my experience as an airport operations supervisor (in a past life) would lead me to ...
newmanth's user avatar
  • 5,167
8 votes

What will happen on Airbus A320-200 series when during push back NW STRG DISC in not in the towing position?

The name says it all. NW STRG DISC or in full form the Nose wheel steering disconnect. And that is what exactly it does. It physically disconnects the nose wheel steering of the aircraft. In most ...
Anas Maaz's user avatar
  • 1,963
8 votes
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After an aircraft releases the parking brakes, can the pushback vehicle's brakes hold it in place?

The tug operator talks to the pilot through an intercom connected directly into the airplane's audio system, and when the pushback is ready to start, the tug will confirm PB release with the pilot ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
7 votes
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Is there a minimum number of people needed for an aircraft pushback?

Depends on the airline. At minimum, you need one driving the tractor, and in unconfined areas with nothing to run into, this is sufficient. In confined areas operators almost always require wing ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
6 votes
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From which ATC station is push-back clearance requested?

At controlled aerodromes, the aerodrome control tower is responsible for separating aircraft on the maneuvering area (from other aircraft, and from obstacles, vehicles etc.). If a pushback is done ...
60levelchange's user avatar
6 votes

Is it possible to use thrust reversers to taxi backwards?

Can commercial airliners theoretically taxi backwards using reverse thrust? - After an airshow at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset in the 1980s a British Airways Concorde found it could not taxi out for ...
Tim Brown's user avatar
6 votes

Is it common for aircraft tugs to work from under the aircraft?

I worked, as a pilot on the 747, for CPAir, and that was a common method used to push us back. We drove into the gate under our own power.
Bob Swanson's user avatar
6 votes

Can anyone identify this 1970s Mitsubishi pushback tug?

I Have found out this Mitsubishi pushback tug in real life at Haneda airport, Tokyo. but I wasn't able to get the original model number but I belive Mitsubishi hasn't set one for it otherwise the ...
Islam Elsayed's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

How and why does the ATR-72 sometimes use reverse thrust to push back from its parking position?

As other answers note, for most aircraft, the risk of the engines ingesting FOD while powering back is too high. This is particularly true for turbofan engines mounted under the wings. Turboprop ...
StephenS's user avatar
  • 27.7k
5 votes

If the push was accidentally started with the brakes on, what will happen since these towbars don't have shearpins?

While it isn't desirable to try to push an airplane with the brakes set, nothing much happens if you try. Nothing moves, and the tow bar is so strong in straight compression/tension that it isn't ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.8k
5 votes

One man push-back

If the crew are inside the aircraft and sitting in the cockpit, and there are no obstacles near the aircraft, there's no problem with one person doing the push back. In the military I was certified to ...
Juan Jimenez's user avatar
5 votes

How fast can an airliner (like a Boeing 747) taxi backwards?

From a pure theoretical standpoint, the speed limit would be whatever rolling speed can be achieved with max reverse thrust. If you deployed max reverse on a landing, and left the max reverse on until ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
4 votes

How fast can pushback tugs actually go? (maximum possible speed)

This AC covers a lot of the regulations around towing aircraft and according to the regulations Towing Speed. Towing speed should not exceed that of walking team members. Towing speed should not ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
4 votes

How and why does the ATR-72 sometimes use reverse thrust to push back from its parking position?

Just about any turboprop or piston engine airplane with reversing propellers can do it, as the airplane doesn't care whether BETA reverse is being used on the ramp or a taxiway or a runway. You ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
4 votes

How and why does the ATR-72 sometimes use reverse thrust to push back from its parking position?

Pushback via reverse thrust is problematic for turbofans, as they kick up lots of debris, which could be ingested into the engine or hit something laying around. Presumably the ATR as a turboprop ...
zymhan's user avatar
  • 2,238
4 votes
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Can anyone identify this 1970s Mitsubishi pushback tug?

I found an old magazine advertisement that displays the pushback tractor in question. The ad is for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries "ground support equipment" or G.S.E.: Source: ...
Jpe61's user avatar
  • 29.1k
3 votes
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What is the speed during push-back?

There is no regulatory guidance on how fast (or how slow) an aircraft must move during the pushback. Furthermore, there are many opinions (see below) on how fast an airplane moves during pushback. If ...
Mark Jones Jr.'s user avatar
3 votes

How and why does the ATR-72 sometimes use reverse thrust to push back from its parking position?

You can do powerbacks with basically any commercial turboprop, not really uncommon at all. We did it regularly with our F50s and we still performing it nowadays sometimes (even though quite rarely) ...
James Hinkley's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Missing shear pin for tow-bar / front landing gear

The Capt would have just repeated or paraphrased whatever Maintenance Control told him. If a push back is done with the nose wheel scissors connected, it is critical for the tug driver to respect the ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
3 votes

What is the minimum number of people required to manually pushback a 747?

The rope must be attached one end to the aircraft and another to some stationary point. Humans should push it onto the side from the middle point. This should amplify the force significantly, reducing ...
h22's user avatar
  • 12.1k
3 votes

Request 2(both) engine startup then pushback at the gate?

This can be done, and can be approved when needed. The most common case would be an inoperative APU, requiring the use of external high pressure air to start an engine. Once one engine is started, you ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.8k
2 votes

Can reverse-thrust be used to push back from the gate?

Not being a pilot, I might be wrong, but here goes Theoretically yes, but a pilot usually only uses reverse thrust above a certain speed, because of the danger of debris on the ground being blown ...
d.a.vorm's user avatar
  • 351

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