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80 votes
Accepted

Why don’t airplanes use turn signals?

At uncontrolled airports, there is rarely enough traffic for signals to be needed, and pilots should (though are not required to) communicate with each other on CTAF—an option that cars do not have. ...
StephenS's user avatar
  • 27.7k
63 votes
Accepted

Are there any drawbacks to requesting progressive taxi every time?

Apart from appearing really unprofessional, the obvious drawback is a significantly higher workload, both for the pilot but especially for ATC. You're not the only aircraft moving around at the ...
60levelchange's user avatar
58 votes

How can this kind of confusion about taxi instructions occur?

I continue my series of "not actually an answer but I got to say this": The most valuable lesson you can learn from this is not figuring out afterwards what was said, but getting into a habit of ...
Jpe61's user avatar
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51 votes

Why don’t airplanes use turn signals?

I think the points raised in other answers are good, but they miss the essential difference. Cars choose from a discrete set of options, but planes do not. When you indicate left when driving you are ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
48 votes

Has a plane ever run out of fuel while taxiing?

I saw this happen one time. A DC-3 pulled up to a flight school's pump because no one else had gas. The flight line kid dutifully pumped x gallons into the tanks, but didn't verify with the dipstick. ...
Juan Jimenez's user avatar
47 votes
Accepted

How can two planes be on the same taxiway facing opposite to each other?

The taxiway is being used for parking. Specifically, parking of two MD-80s that have attracted press attention—The Australian: Clive Palmer’s $10m in tax-haven jets sitting idle: TWO 155-seat jets ...
Zach Lipton's user avatar
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35 votes
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What is "judgemental oversteering" in taxi procedures?

"Judgmental oversteering" means to intentionally not follow the taxiway centerline when turning. It is a technique used on large aircraft to turn on tighter or smaller taxiways. In a sense, it is ...
kevin's user avatar
  • 39.7k
35 votes

Why is aircraft marshalling still necessary?

There are automated systems that provide the same function as a marshal. They are in place at some airports but not all since upgrades cost money and not all airports may see a use for it. At ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
31 votes

How do pilots identify the taxi path to the runway?

Almost always pilots use a chart, ie a map which shows the airport from the air. Runways are numbered according to their magnetic bearing (runway 22 is roughly aligned to 220 degrees magnetic for ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 54k
31 votes
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How do tugs push back the Antonov 225?

Quite simple ― use a (special) towbar! Aircraft with such unique front wheels (like the Antonov An-225 Mriya and Lockheed C-5 Galaxy) carry their own towbar around, which is then attached to the tugs ...
aeroalias's user avatar
  • 100k
30 votes
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Taxiing with one engine: Is engine #1 always used or do they switch?

Airbus aircraft have 3 hydraulic systems (Green, Blue, Yellow). Green is pressurized by left engine, Yellow by right engine, and each one can be pressurized by the other using the PTU. In addition the ...
mins's user avatar
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30 votes
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Why are thrust reversers not used to slow down to taxi speeds?

A minimum max reverse power speed is often an airplane operating limitation. It's mostly related to FOD (mostly sand grains and small gravel) and on some designs there may be compressor stall issues ...
John K's user avatar
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30 votes
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How can this kind of confusion about taxi instructions occur?

Most ATC controllers will try to avoid using the words “to” and “for” for obvious reasons. Especially in giving taxi instructions. This is not patently true in all cases for all controllers. But, it ...
Dean F.'s user avatar
  • 16.5k
29 votes
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Does taxiing time gets considered in a pilot's flying hours?

In the US, taxi time can be logged. 14 CFR 61.51 says the pilot must log (emphasis mine): Total flight time or lesson time. And 14 CFR 1.1 says (emphasis mine): Flight time means: (1) ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.8k
29 votes
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Why aren't there brake lights on aircraft?

They simply aren't necessary. Brake lights are on road vehicles because often they travel at relatively high speeds, and follow relatively close to one another. If a driver suddenly slows, the brake ...
SnakeDoc's user avatar
  • 2,438
29 votes
Accepted

What is the name of the movement which is carried out by plane beginning from the runway and ending at takeoff?

Takeoff Roll As per the FAA handbook (page 5-2) Takeoff roll (ground roll) is the portion of the takeoff procedure during which the airplane is accelerated from a standstill to an airspeed ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
28 votes

Do the wheels of taxi-capable helicopters have power?

The wheels do not have power - there is no propulsion system linked to the wheels, they just spin freely. Taxiing is achieved by adding just enough collective so that the helicopter starts moving, ...
kevin's user avatar
  • 39.7k
28 votes
Accepted

Do the wheels of taxi-capable helicopters have power?

Helicopter wheels do not have power. Taxiing is accomplished by using the thrust from rotors- for example, in case of CH-47, with rotors at normal rpm, the helicopter will have some forward speed (5-6 ...
aeroalias's user avatar
  • 100k
26 votes
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Are there any aircraft with powered landing gear?

WheelTug makes an addon motor for a nose wheel. This is a demo of the unit being developed for a B737. They intend to lease it to airlines. It works well under most circumstances, but has difficulty ...
Pilothead's user avatar
  • 20.2k
25 votes

Why does the Cessna 152/172 nose wheel turn only when the aircraft is moving?

Because the nose wheel is only attached to the rudder pedals indirectly, through some springs (or maybe a bungee cord), that transfer the displacement of the pedals into a force that is applied to the ...
Charles Bretana's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

May an airplane with folding wings legally taxi on the street?

When driving on roads there is no such category as flying car. You must meet the regulations for the vehicle class in question, and if the vehicle can also fly that is a separate matter. The most ...
Pilothead's user avatar
  • 20.2k
24 votes
Accepted

What are these devices on or adjacent to an airport taxi-way?

It is not a road that you are looking at, it is the edge of the runway / taxiway. The double yellow lines are used to define the taxiway edge from the shoulder or some other abutting paved surface ...
DeltaLima's user avatar
  • 83.5k
24 votes

What do these white on red words indicate on a London Heathrow taxiway chart?

They are named holding points; this allows them to say things like "taxi to RABIT" rather than "taxiway Bravo, hold short of taxiway Charlie". This saves a lot of time for ground controllers at busy, ...
StephenS's user avatar
  • 27.7k
23 votes
Accepted

Do pilots have to stop at the hold position of the takeoff runway?

No, there is no mandatory stop. Typical clearances given before departure are: BigAir 123, hold short of runway 36. BigAir 123, line up and wait runway 36. Former phraseology in the US was "...
Papa Alpha's user avatar
20 votes

Why is aircraft marshalling still necessary?

You are talking about aircraft marshalling, not sky marshal. When an aircraft comes a gate, one of the tasks is to park on a designated spot. A marshal will help in that, and so can a camera do that. ...
Farhan's user avatar
  • 29.4k
19 votes

How do tugs push back the Antonov 225?

It is a half hour operation at the best. That's why these aircraft are usually parked away from other aircraft as they take longer to get moving. The aircraft will usually carry its own towbar. ...
Anilv's user avatar
  • 4,566
19 votes
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What are the most challenging taxi manoeuvres that a typical commercial airline pilot must execute?

"Most challenging" is a matter of opinion, but if I were to pick, it is probably the 180 degree turn. The purpose of the maneuver is to turn the aircraft around and face the opposite direction. The ...
kevin's user avatar
  • 39.7k
18 votes

Has there been any attempt to use an underground cable system, a la a cable car, to tow aircraft along taxiways?

Way to go on thinking outside of the box. Actually, it might work. Although the logistics of it are above my pay-grade. Maybe, some smart group out there could make it work. But, your question doesn’t ...
Dean F.'s user avatar
  • 16.5k

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