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How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?  
User currently offlineDL767captain From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2539 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10370 times:

When i see planes taxiing the nose wheels are always perfectly on the yellow line. How can they do this when the pilots cant see the wheels?

44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineExpress1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10365 times:

They have fantastic eye sight and judgement.

dave


User currently offlineYtib From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 575 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10368 times:

years of practice. I found when taking flying lessons the first few times when taxiing I was not doing a good job with the middle line but after a little while I was following it quite closely. The same goes for when you are driving and staying within the lanes being askew to one side or maintaining your lane on a bend in the road the more you do it the better you get.

User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10364 times:

And wen you are in a particualr aircraft type for a while (as most guys are) you can pick a reference from inside the cockpit just from experience and go off of that with the lines and be dead on every time.


What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlinePmk From United States of America, joined May 1999, 664 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10313 times:

I often wondered the same thing after spending half an hour trying to successfully taxi, sitting on my hands trying to make a successful turn. I asked a Champion Air pilot how he did it after a beautiful turn and go take off. His reply was perfect and simple.

"I do it 4 times a day."

I guess it's the same as getting to Carnegie Hall...Practice!

PMK


User currently offlinePilotboi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 2366 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 10114 times:



Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 3):
And wen you are in a particualr aircraft type for a while (as most guys are) you can pick a reference from inside the cockpit just from experience and go off of that with the lines and be dead on every time.

Just like in the C172, usually you can use your right leg. In other words, line up the line so that it looks like (if you could draw it under the cowling) it goes right through your right leg.

Also remember that in airliners you don't steer with the rudder pedals which I can imagine makes it easier to control. Imagine trying to steer your car with rudder pedals instead of the steering wheel. You'd be doing a lot of correcting.


User currently offlineLegacy135 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 1052 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9954 times:

It's just practice. In the ERJ's, sitting in the left seat, you need to feel the yellow line going trough your right knee and you are on the line  Wink

Cheers
Legacy135  Wink


User currently onlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3476 posts, RR: 46
Reply 7, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 9865 times:



Quoting DL767captain (Thread starter):
When i see planes taxiing the nose wheels are always perfectly on the yellow line. How can they do this when the pilots cant see the wheels?



Quoting Ytib (Reply 2):
practice.



Quoting Pmk (Reply 4):
Practice!



Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 6):
practice

Uh... question answered? Big grin FWIW, I normally do NOT taxi ON the lines when away from the ramp (or other close quarters).... too bumpy.  Wink

Quoting Pilotboi (Reply 5):
Also remember that in airliners you don't steer with the rudder pedals which I can imagine makes it easier to control.

Most airliners DO have at least a limited amount of rudder pedal nose wheel steering. That is my primary steering on open taxiways.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4703 posts, RR: 50
Reply 8, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 9862 times:

I think it depends on the person as well. I did some flight training in DA-20/40, which are equiped with toe-brakes only. With my second lesson I pretty much got it figured out (and got a compliment from the CFI). I recon it's just a feeling you need to have or develop.


For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlinePilotboi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 2366 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 9813 times:



Quoting AAR90 (Reply 7):
Most airliners DO have at least a limited amount of rudder pedal nose wheel steering. That is my primary steering on open taxiways.

Interesting...thanks.


User currently offlineFr8Mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5499 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 9814 times:

On any aircraft I've taxied (B727, B747, B757/767, DC8, L1011), if you keep the centerline right on your inboard knee (or just inside for the jumbo), you'll hit that centerline everytime. Oh yeah, did I mention...practice.

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 7):
That is my primary steering on open taxiways.

Absolutely. I try to stress that during training. The limited steering (somewhere around 7 degrees) offered by NWS is more than enough track a taxiway centerline and to handle small corrections.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineBoeing767mech From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1029 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 9790 times:

On the 757/767 I use the Radio Altimeter as a guide for the center line. On the MD-80 I use the windshied wiper cotter pin as a guide. As for the 777 I use my knee, that's the easy part, the hard part is making the turn with out dragging the gear in the grass or setting off the MLG steering EICAS message (you get this when you turn too slow)

David



Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 9749 times:

The tiller on the 145 is very sensitive. Captains try to avoid it as much as possible and use only the pedals. Taxi with a new captain is always an interesting adventure as a result. My only experience with it was sitting in the left seat during sim training. It wasn't pretty.  Smile

Is there anything worse than hitting every single centerline light? Isn't there a way to make those things a little more smooth?



DMI
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17068 posts, RR: 66
Reply 13, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 9732 times:



Quoting Pilotboi (Reply 5):
Also remember that in airliners you don't steer with the rudder pedals which I can imagine makes it easier to control. Imagine trying to steer your car with rudder pedals instead of the steering wheel. You'd be doing a lot of correcting.

Many people without arms (or with very short ones) steer with their foot. A guy I knew says it takes a bit of practice but it's no big deal. His wife has no arms.

As an aside, he loved to overtake cars with his hands clasped behind his head. He'll usually nod and smile at drivers he passes. Big grin

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 12):
Is there anything worse than hitting every single centerline light? Isn't there a way to make those things a little more smooth?

Absolutely. You don't mind landing in darkness right?  Wink



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 14, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 9693 times:

Professionals no matter what type of flying.  Big grin


Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineReidYYZ From Kyrgyzstan, joined Sep 2005, 536 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 9596 times:

Taxiing the Tristar is fun, the NW is something like 20 feet behind you (it's been a few years, I don't want to dig out the info from the basement, it scares me-the goblin under my stairs-not the manuals). I found it easier to do a full 90deg turn than a 45deg turn. With the 90, roll fwd until the perpendicular taxi line is in line with your shoulder, then turn. When you have to do a 180 on a rnwy, you turn 45deg from rwy heading, roll fwd until your seat is OVER the grass, then crank hard opposite direction. All while doing min. 15kts or you come to a dead stop.

What I tend to do, even now as Taxiing opportunities are farther and fewer in between, is when I'm riding brakes on a tow, watch for guidance keys as the tow guy (no offense to women, all tow guys were I work are.......guys) stays on the line. It helps. Oh yeah, and practice.


User currently offlineUAL Bagsmasher From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2147 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 9551 times:

In the CRJ, I usually line up my right thigh with the centerline. After a while you just get the feel for where you are at in your particular aircraft type. I've gotten pretty good at stopping dead on the "T" at the gates. I try to avoid tracking straight down the taxiway centerline during wet and/or snowy conditions. They are as slippery as ice and are no fun to be driving over in a turn. There's nothing more exciting than having your nosewheel turned to an angle and your aircraft still plowing straight ahead Wink

User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 9502 times:



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 13):

Absolutely. You don't mind landing in darkness right?

That's why we have lights on the plane and sides of the runway  Silly



DMI
User currently offlineSovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2616 posts, RR: 17
Reply 18, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 9425 times:
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Must be tricky to steer a Trident lol

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 19, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 9334 times:

Practice.
They find a method thats suited.
aligning the Inboard knee to the Windshield wiper on the B737 as one  Smile
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineSlz396 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 9313 times:

I think taxiing Concorde must have been great fun too..

Am I right in assuming the distance from cockpit to nose wheel is the highest ever on a commercial pax plane?


User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6816 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 9264 times:

Corners can be problematic


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wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineBE77 From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 9164 times:



Quoting Slz396 (Reply 20):
I think taxiing Concorde must have been great fun too..

Am I right in assuming the distance from cockpit to nose wheel is the highest ever on a commercial pax plane?

Maybe, but it looks like a long way to the nose wheel in a Lancastrian, or, for something still in use, a DC-3?  Smile



Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
User currently offlineDaBuzzard From Canada, joined Sep 2007, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 9144 times:

 psst  Last time I looked, both our greasy 3's were missing nose wheels..... should I report them as stolen??  Wink

User currently offlineBoeingOnFinal From Norway, joined Apr 2006, 476 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 9128 times:

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 12):
My only experience with it was sitting in the left seat during sim training. It wasn't pretty.

I've also heard, depending on the simulator I would believe, that you can get quite dizzy when taxiing in a simulator? That it somehow feels unnatural and fake.

A bad habit when taxiing in a small aircraft when cornering is to constantly use the brakes instead of steering it nicely around the curves with the nose wheel steering. It might be easier to have control that way, but it wears the brakes and unless it is a tail dragger it should not be done that way.

I cannot say that I've mastered it completely yet, but with the right attitude and the willingness to learn I will get there

[Edited 2007-12-04 08:59:30]


norwegianpilot.blogspot.com
25 Post contains images Saab2000 : I taxi perfectly by being an unbelievably good pilot. Oh, and by reading the Jeppesen 10-9 airport diagram, having the F/O help out, taxiing at a safe
26 AAR90 : I've never gotten dizzy but a sim is definitely unnatural and fake.
27 Saab2000 : In the CRJ sim it is actually possible to become a bit naseous because the visual really doesn't match the motion. You see one thing and feel somethin
28 747fan : Some aircraft, such as the Boeing 777, also have a tiller for the First Officer. I've watched cockpit videos on Youtube of the A340-600, and due to i
29 Boeing767mech : 737NG's this is a option as well as A300's David
30 Starlionblue : It has cameras to help the pilots too.
31 Sfomb67 : And at the gate................accupark !
32 Post contains images Starlionblue : Is that a guy in a cheap suit who comes out and parks the plane for you and gives you a ratty token in return?
33 Post contains links Sfomb67 : Accupark is an optical light system used for parking planes at the gate without ground personnel. The only reference I could find, appears in an inci
34 Post contains images Starlionblue : I knew that.
35 Post contains images BA777ER236 : Yep, that works, but also on the 777, I use the vertical 'line' between the PFD and the ND. Extend that line up thru' the glareshield and that refere
36 TWAL1011727 : TWA had a video for L10 pilots on just how to make turns. My dad told me that Frankfurt Germany had an unusual taxiway design (back prior to 1987 whe
37 Post contains images BlueShamu330s : Now, now chaps, you know all this "follow your inside leg" is a load of rubbish. It's actually "inside leg and a thumb." That way you don't get the G'
38 FlyASAGuy2005 : Holds true for the 757 also. It's like when your coming onto the runway and you feel like your halfway down before the pilot starts to make the turn
39 Jettboy : Keep the yellow line between your legs and your nose gear will be on it.
40 Starlionblue : Won't you be a bit off to the side in an airliner if you do this?
41 FlyASAGuy2005 : I would think so.
42 Pilotboi : No, because you are sitting off to the left (or right) of the centerline of the aircraft. So if you imagine drawing the line through the aircraft, it
43 Sprout5199 : I know when I am taxing(in a little c-152) the c/l is going thru my right leg. I also learned on long straight runs not to look too close to the nose
44 Don : So now know the guy driving his BMW on the highway, keeping the lane dividing line as the center line is a pilot.
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