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Northwest Using Reverse Thrust For Pushback  
User currently offlineDLCnxgptjax From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 353 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11651 times:

I was on NW flight 388 MEM-GPT on 11/23. We use the DC-9's own power to pushback from the gate. I know that other airlines have/still use reverse thrust to pushback from the gate without a tug, but I was thinking that maybe it would be more cost effective to use a tug for pushback. I was thinking maybe the Captain decided that he would rather go ahead and push rather than wait for an available tug. Just wondering what others thought as far as the current state of fuel and how significant, if at all, this event was.

On a side note, I experienced my first go around on an airliner on that same day. It was on a Delta 763 JAX-ATL. I had the largest grin on my face...  Big grin

54 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDogfighter2111 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1968 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11629 times:

Hey,

Don't they only do that because the DC-9's have those Cone things that go over the rear of the engine. I know that is the reverse thrust, but i don't think it is possible to do that in a B757 or B747 etc. If so wouldn't it blow out the windows in the terminal?

Thanks
Mike


User currently offlineJcavinato From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11603 times:

Eastern Airlines started the practice (to my memory), because the airport tug fees were in the $30 - 40 range for each push back. It was a balance of fuel vs airport fee tradeoff. But, with fuel costs still being high (when Eastern did it, fuel was about $0.18/gallon), I can't see IT being the low cost alternative. There had to be another reason(s).

User currently offlineFoxBravo From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 3000 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11597 times:

Quoting Dogfighter2111 (Reply 1):
Don't they only do that because the DC-9's have those Cone things that go over the rear of the engine. I know that is the reverse thrust, but i don't think it is possible to do that in a B757 or B747 etc. If so wouldn't it blow out the windows in the terminal?

Theoretically I believe just about any aircraft with reverse thrust could power back, but it is not typically done by aircraft with wing-mounted engines because of the risk of FOD damage, nor is it done by aircraft above a certain size because of the resulting jet blast. I have only seen it done by DC-9s, MD-80s and 727s.



Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
User currently offlineMD90fan From Bahamas, joined Jul 2005, 2931 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11557 times:

I saw a DC-9 did pushback at BTR  Smile


http://www.devanwells.blogspot.com/
User currently offlineBohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2713 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11541 times:

Quoting DLCnxgptjax (Thread starter):
I was thinking maybe the Captain decided that he would rather go ahead and push rather than wait for an available tug.

All powerback procedures have to be approved in the airline's operating specifications as well by the airport authority of the airport where the powerback is taking place. Also you will need at least two wingwalkers and a marshaller for a powerback.

Quoting DLCnxgptjax (Thread starter):
Just wondering what others thought as far as the current state of fuel and how significant, if at all, this event was.

Considering the cost of fuel, is is more cost effective to use a tug.

Quoting Dogfighter2111 (Reply 1):
Don't they only do that because the DC-9's have those Cone things that go over the rear of the engine. I know that is the reverse thrust, but i don't think it is possible to do that in a B757 or B747 etc.

I flew on several EA 757 flights out of ATL and they powered back out of the gate. I don't think any airline ever did powerbacks on a widebody. That would be asking for trouble, FOD, etc.


User currently offlineUnited_fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7505 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11532 times:

NW does it in DTW,too . But not GSO or ROC . At least that's been my experience.


'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
User currently offlineKC135R From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 728 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11529 times:

Quoting FoxBravo (Reply 3):
Theoretically I believe just about any aircraft with reverse thrust could power back, but it is not typically done by aircraft with wing-mounted engines because of the risk of FOD damage

I believe this is true. Several years ago, at the Berlin air show, I got the chance to talk to some Boeing folks. The C-17 had just performed a little demonstration and a big deal was made about its ability to back up. So I asked them why it was so special, couldn't any aircraft with TRs back up? They said yes, in theory, but FOD would be a concern and also some engines would have a tendency to overheat during a power back.


On a side note, last year when I was traveling home for thanksgiving, I flew NW. Leaving out of MSP (DC-9) the Capt came on and said "Folks, we should be pushing back - no, scratch that, powering back here in just a few minutes." I knew I was an aviation geek when that comment brought a smile to my face - everyone else probably didn't even know what he was talking about.


User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11487 times:

Powerbacks are common at MSP. You can hear one every few minutes. It seems like half of the NW DC9 flights from MSP that I've been on were powerbacks.

Mark


User currently offlineETStar From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 2103 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11485 times:

Quoting Bohica (Reply 5):
Considering the cost of fuel, is is more cost effective to use a tug.

I think nowadays, considering the high labour costs and every airline's intentions of slashing them, the reversers are a good alternative. I am sure the airlines are calculating this amount on a regular basis to determine what is best for them.


User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11455 times:

Powerbacks are common at DFW with American at certain gates with the MD-80.

User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5257 posts, RR: 23
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 11302 times:

Quoting KC135R (Reply 7):
The C-17 had just performed a little demonstration and a big deal was made about its ability to back up.

I think not only back up, but back up a 2 percent grade. Pretty impressive.


User currently offlineFpofllflyboi From Bahamas, joined Jun 2005, 234 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 11274 times:

Quoting AirCop (Reply 10):
Powerbacks are common at DFW with American at certain gates with the MD-80.

True, I flew DFW-FLL last year October and say at least 7 AA MD80's perform powerbacks.


User currently offlineKC135R From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 728 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 11229 times:

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 11):
I think not only back up, but back up a 2 percent grade. Pretty impressive.

Indeed, and fully loaded it can do this - from www.boeing.com:

The four engines are Pratt & Whitney PW2040 series turbofans, designated as F117-PW-100 by the Air Force, each producing 40,440 pounds of thrust. The engines are equipped with directed-flow thrust reversers capable of deployment in flight. On the ground, a fully loaded aircraft, using engine reversers, can back up a two-percent slope.


User currently offlineWeb From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 427 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 11093 times:

Being in an aircraft during a powerback is awesome! I was on a NW DC-9-30 in DTW and we powered back. I was sitting about 2 rows ahead of the engine, and wow, is that loud! Definately something everyone here should experience before the aircraft capable of it are retired  Sad.


Next flight: GRR-ORD-PDX-SEA-ORD-GRR
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 11062 times:

Powerbacks are permitted at few DTW gates. Just don't hit the brakes after you complete the maneuver.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineCadet57 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 9085 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10926 times:

FOD?

filler

thanks



Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
User currently offlineUnited_Fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7505 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 10824 times:

Foreign
Object
Debris



'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
User currently offlineDLCnxgptjax From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 353 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 10807 times:

Quoting KC135R (Reply 7):
I knew I was an aviation geek when that comment brought a smile to my face - everyone else probably didn't even know what he was talking about.

The exact same thing happened to me when I heard the engines start up before we ever moved. I was trying to hide the fact that I was so excited because I didn't want people to look at me and think I was up to no good.

 bouncy 


User currently offlineAzoresLover From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 757 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 10683 times:
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Quoting United_Fan (Reply 17):
Foreign
Object
Debris

Are you sure? I thought in the Air Force we called it:

Foreign
Object
DAMAGE



Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
User currently offlineUnited_Fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7505 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 10659 times:

Here ya go! Have fun.


http://flightlevel350.com/download.php?id=668



'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
User currently offlineIAHERJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 677 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 10556 times:

I've performed them on the B717 when I used to work ar AirTran. They worked out well and I believe that MSY still employs the use of powerbacking as the normal way of departing the gate to this day. The last one I did was a month ago in PNS. I've been a pax on a 737-200 (Continental) several DC-9's (Continental, Northwest) and MD-80's (Republic??Continental,American) and several Continental 727's that powerbacked.

From a pilot's perspective, they are quick however you have to start both engines on a two engine aircraft to perform the maneuver and a long taxi requires much more fuel or the shutting down of an engine after the powerback and a resulting restart before departure. I personally like doing them. I once initially applied a bit too mouch reverse thrust and blew a gate agents skirt up(it might of been a flight attendant standing in the jetway next to the agent).

Good thread

IAHERJ



Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 10516 times:

Quoting Jcavinato (Reply 2):
Eastern Airlines started the practice (to my memory), because the airport tug fees were in the $30 - 40 range for each push back. It was a balance of fuel vs airport fee tradeoff

Nope. Eastern started doing powerbacks as a way to get rid of maintenance workers whose only job was pushing back a/c. Needless to say, the mechanic's union (the IAM) was none to happy about this. One of the union higher ups actually went as far try to block an a/c from being powerbacked. Needless to say, he wasn't successful, as it became S.O.P. at a number of airlines (depending on the airport). The reason why some airlines (like AirTran) have pretty much abandoned the practice was not entirely due to the rising fuel costs, but also to save money on maintenance costs as well.


User currently offlineNWOrientDC10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1404 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10178 times:
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After the downing of KAL flight 007, the ground crew at JFK refused to provide push back svc. for Aeroflot in protest. After it was determined that windows wouldn't be shattered, the powerbacks were allowed (I read this in an article after KAL 007 was shot down).

Personally, I felt bad for the Aeroflot crew; they didn't shoot down KAL 007  Sad.
I'm not sure when pushback svc. was resumed.

Good day  Smile

Russell



Things aren't always as they seem
User currently offlineElectech6299 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 616 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10154 times:

Quoting Jcavinato (Reply 2):
Eastern Airlines started the practice (to my memory), because the airport tug fees were in the $30 - 40 range for each push back. It was a balance of fuel vs airport fee tradeoff.



Quoting Srbmod (Reply 22):
Eastern started doing powerbacks as a way to get rid of maintenance workers whose only job was pushing back a/c



Quoting Bohica (Reply 5):
you will need at least two wingwalkers and a marshaller for a powerback.

 scratchchin   confused  So how many ground crew are required for a pushback? I count at least 3 for a powerback- aren't pushbacks routinely done nowadays with only one tug operator and one marshaller, hence all the cries for the return of wingwalkers? I guess it depends on the airline, but can anyone explain this to me?

Quoting IAHERJ (Reply 21):
I once initially applied a bit too mouch reverse thrust and blew a gate agents skirt up

You naughty Captain... wideeyed   eek 



Send not to know for whom the bell tolls...it tolls for thee
25 Midwest717 : For my trip to YYZ this week, the NW DC-9 used its reverse thrust to push back from the the gates in both DTW and YYZ.
26 FlyMeToTheMoon : C-17 use thrust reverses quite frequently, if fact they are designed to go about 3 miles per hour on a runway with a max 5 degree slope.
27 Jbmflyer : I thought the DC-8 was able to deploy the inboard two thrust reversers in flight as well as a way of slowing in a decent (not sure, someone correct me
28 LegendDC9 : Well, while watching the cost of fuel is nice and sweet, you have to remember that an enclosed pushback tug (and we are talking capable of a DC9, noth
29 Wjcandee : There's a recent thread on this. The answer is yes, they can be used kind of like speedbrakes on the DC-8, and some other planes (notably Russian) ca
30 SANSCOTT744 : About 12 years ago when I lived in ATW. Northwest used to push back their DC-9's from GRB using the reverse thrust method versus the tow.
31 Tribird1011 : Although the DC-9 might have powered back at DTW, I have serious doubts that it powered back at YYZ. Couple of reasons: firstly I don't think that th
32 Apodino : Does powerback really cost more? Yes the fuel costs high, but diesel fuel is more expensive than the jet fuel these airlines pay for. I would think th
33 Sunking737 : When I worked for the Old Republic Airlines, my favorite part of the ramp job was the power back. We not only PB the DC-9's but 727's & CV-580. I thin
34 Post contains links 797charter : To all of you, - two very nice power-pushbacks videos - C-17: (From outside) http://www.flightlevel350.com/viewer.php?id=3327 Northwest DC 9-41 (From
35 Post contains images AeroPeru : I too have had numerous pushbacks on NW DC-9's at DTW. And as has been stated here before, I have to hide the smile as folks would think there is some
36 CaptainStorck : I had my first DTW connection experience yesterday and when I departed CMH on a DC-9, we used a tug, but when we pushed from DTW in a 9, we used the r
37 Dc8friendship : The Pitot tubes are separate from engine instruments, as are the anti- ice for both. the engines may have had anomolous readings, but the airspeed ma
38 Thegooddoctor : Another consideration, especially at places like DTW, is how much at TUG costs. When I worked, I believe they told us a pushback was something in the
39 FoxBravo : Definitely. In my experience, I have generally seen powerbacks only at hubs (e.g., DFW, MSP and RDU back when AA had a hub there) where aircraft depa
40 Jbmflyer : I believe the airspeed was off as well, which was why they were so surprised when the shaker/pusher went off. I know in the end all they had to do wa
41 Post contains images LxLucien : Hi Yeah but a new engine will cost Millions Once in Male (Maledives) an Belair A310 was making pushback as suddently the pushback truck broke down and
42 Dfwagt : We stopped doing power backs to save on gas and wear and tear on the engines. It is a much quieter place to work now.
43 Greasespot : Not possible. A high bypass turbofan's reverse thrust directs only the bypass air. The core where EGT is read is NOT changed in direction. Reverse th
44 GQfluffy : So how do you explain the C-17? Aren't those 4 PW's the very same engine on the 757?
45 Post contains images LxLucien : Hi It's to complicate and it would take too long to write all down. But that's what I've heard. If you make a pushback with reverser, the hot air from
46 Thegooddoctor : Something important to point out with your picture - a Fokker 70 vectors ALL thrust forward (core as well) due to the clamshell design. An A310 serie
47 Crownvic : Greasespot...While your comment about the bypass air is correct, the RB211-535E4 on EAL's 757-200's also operate in this manner. Being that I sat on m
48 GQfluffy : Exactly. I'm not bashing Greasespot, I'm just curious how the C-17 (and I guess the 757 now) can powerback...
49 FoxBravo : I think Greasespot meant that it was impossible for the engine to overheat in that way, not that it was impossible for the aircraft to power back.
50 Dougloid : Back in the early eighties I worked at Toledo Express Airport and they had a couple TWA 727s that were parked there overnight after their runs. It wa
51 Greasespot : I never said an engine could not use reverse thrust to back up...Just that it was impossible to over temp a modern engine (high bypass engine like on
52 Brilondon : You must go up DTW and see the operations there. At the new MacNamera Terminal they don't waste time unhooking the tugs and and with the large number
53 Crownvic : Greasespot...Sorry...After re-reading the post, I did misunderstand you.
54 Centrair : For some reason, I always thought that Powerback with a DC9 was a regular move. I guess I fly NW too much. The only time I think I have seen a pushbac
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