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AA 737-800 "towed" To Gate At MIA?  
User currently offlinePITSpeedbird From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 60 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4926 times:

Hello all -

My sister in law tonight was on an American flight into MIA from
BWI - it was a 737-800 series. I heard the flight was delayed into the
gate (only by 10 min) - because the flight had to be "towed" to the gate.

I always thought that taxi power in a forward direction pre- and post take off
came from the engines providing a low level of thrust.

Is it possible that there was some system failure here which required the flight to
be towed - or do you think it is possible she was mistaken - and the flight merely
needed to wait for an empty gate??

thanks for your help,

PITSpeedbird


you leave. Arrive before
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLONGisland89 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 736 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4917 times:

Some gates are in a tight spot and aircraft need to get towed in....not sure about MIA or other airports, but there are a few at LGA.

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15743 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4917 times:



Quoting PITSpeedbird (Thread starter):
I heard the flight was delayed into the
gate (only by 10 min) - because the flight had to be "towed" to the gate.

There are some gates at some airports where aircraft do need to be towed. This happened on a flight I was on at LCY.

Quoting PITSpeedbird (Thread starter):
or do you think it is possible she was mistaken - and the flight merely
needed to wait for an empty gate??

That is also possible, and perhaps more likely.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4875 times:

Prossibly a malfunction, she should have been able to tell the difference between engine power and a tug getting the plane to the final stopping point.

What comes to mind is possibly overheated brakes or nose gear steering not working exactly right. Also the pilot could have lined up wrong and it was easier to tow the plane in rather than push back and use the engines again.

But at DFW once, my arriving MD-80 had to be towed into a specific gate because the area where the engine exhaust would go had some workers trying to fix a broken plane. So the shut down the engines and towed the aircraft in rather than stop the work on the other aircraft.


User currently offlineOB1504 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 3354 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4748 times:



Quoting LONGisland89 (Reply 1):
Some gates are in a tight spot and aircraft need to get towed in....not sure about MIA or other airports, but there are a few at LGA.

Spot on.

AA 2115 from BWI tonight arrived at Gate D37. Gate D37, along with Gates D29 and D30, is a tow-in only gate due to the proximity of AA's baggage sorting facility to the north and east. The restriction will go away once the new baggage sorting system is operational and the old facility is torn down. IIRC, these three gates are supposed to be able to handle aircraft at least as large as a 767 once the North Terminal project is completed.

This photo shows how tight the fit is:

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/8921/dsc07863s.jpg


User currently offlineDoug From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 854 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4740 times:

Gates D29 and D30 are often gates that require a tow when arriving at MIA but once C is demolished and the old baggage center are torn down this year it should be a thing of the past needing a tow.

User currently offlineKbmiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4725 times:

I flew into MIA earlier this year on a 737 and we had to be towed into the gate the last 100 yards or so. The captain said it was standard for that gate assignment, I think it was D25 or something. This was after an 8 hour delay, so a few more minutes didn't seem to matter.

User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6324 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4622 times:

Being in a tight spot...is this the same reason that whenever I fly QF into LAX, we are towed into the gate at T4?

I too got towed into MIA earlier this year on a 738 on AA, coming from DFW. I believe the pilot said it was because of spacing issues, though it was about 12:30am and I was half asleep, so details are sketchy...


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11630 posts, RR: 61
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4582 times:



Quoting SW733 (Reply 7):
Being in a tight spot...is this the same reason that whenever I fly QF into LAX, we are towed into the gate at T4?

That's for the same reason that all AA flights on the east side of Concourse D at LaGuardia have to get towed in: the alleyway between concourses is too narrow on clearance. In the case of T4 at LAX, widebodies going into gates on the west side of the concourse (usually gate 41) have to be towed because the alleyway between T4 and Bradley is quite narrow, and thus they want the plane moving under ground control, not engine power, on its way into the gate.


User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3474 posts, RR: 46
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4332 times:



Quoting Doug (Reply 5):
Gates D29 and D30 are often gates that require a tow when arriving at MIA but once C is demolished and the old baggage center are torn down this year it should be a thing of the past needing a tow.

MIA D29, D30, D37 are "tow-in" gates due to the "Bag Room" under terminal C. Gate E5 is tow-in for all aircraft --didn't used to be, but I guess someone used "too much" thrust and somebody got hurt or equipment damaged. E8, E10, E11 are two-in for B777s --no explanation provided.

Quoting SW733 (Reply 7):
is this the same reason that whenever I fly QF into LAX, we are towed into the gate at T4?

B777 & larger acft are "tow-in only" at all T-4 gates. Proximity of T-4 and TBIT being the reason for the alley gates. "Standardization" is the reason gates 48 & 49 are "tow-in" only for those planes as well.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 8):
That's for the same reason that all AA flights on the east side of Concourse D at LaGuardia have to get towed in: the alleyway between concourses is too narrow on clearance.

Not true. S80 "tow-in" gates are D2 & C3. All other gates S80 uses are "taxi-in" gates. B738 tow-in gates are C6 and D4. All other gates B738 uses are "taxi-in" gates.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineFlyMIA From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7175 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4327 times:

Yep

Quoting PITSpeedbird (Thread starter):
I always thought that taxi power in a forward direction pre- and post take off
came from the engines providing a low level of thrust.

As said before there are a few gates in MIA that require the plane to be towed in because it is a very tight fit. Some of the low D gates are those gates which is probably what she went into.

Quoting PITSpeedbird (Thread starter):
Is it possible that there was some system failure here which required the flight to
be towed - or do you think it is possible she was mistaken - and the flight merely
needed to wait for an empty gate??

You are right all taxi power is from the engines just like they are used in flight.
But she was not mistaken she wa towed into the gate.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16866 posts, RR: 51
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4299 times:

Being towed into gates is quite common, I've been towed in at EWR and LAX.


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineCkfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5236 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4155 times:

Once, my AA flight from ORD to ATL arrived about 20 or 25 minutes early (left the gate early at ORD, quick taxi out, and favorable winds). The captain explained that between the lack of ground crew waiting to direct us in and the high price of jet fuel, he was going to shut down the engines and have a tug tow us in.

Not a normal procedure at ATL. Simply a captain who didn't want to sit with one engine idling for who knows how long.


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