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Personnel In Cockpit During Towing  
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31875 posts, RR: 54
Posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 4308 times:

Towing an Aircraft requires ATC contact & person on Brakes.
How did this occur.

Think of the brighter side!
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAirplanepics From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2003, 2748 posts, RR: 37
Reply 1, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 4298 times:

Here at my local airport, we usually have one person on Brakes on the flightdeck, one person who will have ATC contact, but will also be driving the tug, and then maybe two or three people walking with the aircraft to make sure everything is going ok.

The person on the flightdeck is there just incase something goes wrong. While working on the 727's I've been told to brake using the manual brakes, if this doesnt work I will pull the emergancy brake, which works on hydraulics and therefore should stop the aircraft.

Tow Bar's snap from time to time, I have never experienced one - and hope not to experience one!

Simon Nicholls

Simon - London-Aviation.com
User currently offlineAir2gxs From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4273 times:

The normal brakes on a B727 is "B" system hydrauklics, the emergency brake is an aircharge that also applies hydraulic pressure to the brakes.

As for contact with ATC. Contact is typically only required if towing across/along tower controlled areas. Movement on one's own ramp doesn't normally require ATC contact.

User currently offlineWhiskeyflyer From Ireland, joined May 2002, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4151 times:

At our facility, one person brakes (also does ATC. Must hold radio licence and had induction coarse for airport.... i.e. know taxi way letters etc. Nothing worse than somebody messing up the readback over the radio)
One person on tug (we like to put one on back of tug as well watching the wing walkers and communicating with the driver).
To help prevent tow bar problems we NDT our tow pins every year.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31875 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4036 times:

So there was noone on the brakes then.

Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineA/c train From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 501 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4001 times:

We use to have a guy riding the brakes and a the tug driver who was in contact with the tower, the only contact with anyone the guy on the brakes has is the hand signal for brakes on and off, come to think of it, I remember it took me quite a while to get the knack of setting the parking brakes on 75's, I use to press down really hard on the fott brakes and struggle to set them, once you do it a few times you start learning not to fight it so much  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineRatzz From Sweden, joined Sep 1999, 198 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3937 times:

-From the looks of things...the guy in the cockpit either wasn´t sittin´in the captain´s seat,had no hydraulic pressure left,walked around in the cabin prowling for leftover snacks or other stuff...or the tugdriver didn´t adjust his speed prior to the turn givin´the poor guy upstairs littl´or no time at all to react.....anyone of those things...or :

-They simply didn´t have a guy in the a/c.......shame on them...  Big grin

-Here at ARN the only time we´re not havin´a guy in the a/c is when we use our Goldhofer TBL´s..
-As soon as we´re using a regular towtruck and towbar,regulations clearly states that someone has to sit in the cockpit during tow op´s.
-Furthermore,even if we use our TBL´s..come darkness,regulations also states that a guy´s needed upstairs thanx to the fact that we tow with the a/c´s lights on and since our TBL´s not equipped with a GPU..the APU has to be used for lights & pumps.

[Edited 2005-01-23 14:01:00]

User currently offlineAvionicMech From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 315 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3883 times:

Hi All,

This is my first post but I have been reading this forum for a while now and I thought this would be a good topic to add to and ask some questions to my fellow sheddie mechs out there.

When we tow an aircraft into the hangar at my company we always leave the APU running for electrics and hyd pumps but this obviously is ever so loud and I have always wondered that should someone have to should to stop the aircraft we would struggle to hear them. And because the brake accumulator can provide 3 or 4 brake applications assuming it is properly charged I am sure this would be perfectly safe. I was wondering what the procedure is at other maintenance bases?


Avionic Mech

User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1564 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3878 times:

Welcome to the forum Avionic Mech. Glad to have another mechanic in the forum.

I find it interesting that the policy at your company is to tow the A/C into the hangar with APU running. At DL we have to shut them down before entering the hangar as the APU exhaust can trigger the fire suppression systems in our hangars. The fire suppression systems use foam, the base of which is synthesized from pigs blood. The stuff really stinks and is a huge nightmare to clean up nevermind the cost to recharge the system and repair/replace any equipment damaged by the foam. I wonder if your hangar has a fire suppression system. Might be a concern to look at.

When we put a plane in the barn we are required at minimum to have a spotter on each wing, one on the tail and one next to the tug. All spotters are required to have a high visibility vest and carry a CO2 powered air horn to signal stop. We are required to have voice communication between the cockpit and the tugdriver, preferably via headset, but radio is an acceptable alternative. Also speed is kept to a minimum usually 3mph or less while going into or out of the hangar. This ensures that in the case of separation from the tug the brake accumulator will have no problem supplying enough pressure to safely stop the airplane.

Another thing in regard to APU usage in the hangar. If we ever need to do it for some reason we make sure the aircraft is nosed in and the APU exhaust is pointed out the door with the tailcone either even with or outside of the door tracks. Obviously this wouldn't be possible with a 727 APU so when we had them we never ran them in the hangar.


757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineAvionicMech From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 315 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3881 times:

I cannot believe how different your policy is from ours, it is quite shocking how bad our place is really. We do not have an automatic fire suppression system in our hangar, all we have is a long fire hose with a foam canister attached to the end, it is really bad.

We have our own tug drivers and tug at our place and I have more than once clocked the IRS groundspeed on our 767's reading easily into double figures as the nose wheel crossed the door tracks. We do have lots of wing walkers when we bring it in but they don't have air horns or anything just hopefully a loud shout, I might suggest the air horn thing to our managers.

I have always argued that the APU should be shut down so that we ca hear people shouting stop but no-one seems to agree because 'that's how we have always done it'.  Nuts . And the worst thing is that some really dosey people leave the bleed air turned on and I am sure you know how much louder that makes the damn thing.


Avionic Mech

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