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Can DC9 Pilots Choose Powerback Instead Of Tug?  
User currently offlinelexkid12300 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 89 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7134 times:

Hi everyone,

I'm planning another Delta DC9 day trip for this August and was hoping to catch some good footage. In one of my most recent trips (DTW-BWI-DTW), two of the flight attendants noticed me filming the boarding process, and stopped me upon exiting in BWI to talk about "our" interest in aviation! A few minutes later, i was chatting with the entire crew, and was later given permission to walk down with the first officer as he did his walk around of the plane before our return flight back to DTW. My girlfriend and myself were offered seats in first class (which i of course had to deny since i wanted to be in row 23 next to the JT8D's) and they later took us on a little tour of DTW to see their 747 and speak with other crew members. They were incredibly nice and really made us feel like VIP's!

Here are two videos i took that day- the first being a tour of the interior, and the second being the exterior walk around.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu6I9gcziZw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGpqj1Jy32o

Anyway, to the point... Do you think Delta DC9 pilots have the ability to deny a tug and request to do a powerback upon exiting the jetway? I have seen many videos of Northwest pilots doing this routinely several years ago (i believe pre- 2008) but i have no idea if this is still acceptable in 2012. I would LOVE to get cabin footage of the thrust reversers being deployed for a pushback from row 23 or 24.

I know it's probably a stretch, but does anyone know if pilots can still do this? I've only met a few pilots, but i know if i were a pilot and had a fellow "aviation loving" passenger requesting something like this (that is really a thrill) i would definitely do it if i had the ability and the time!

What are your thoughts and opinions? Sorry if this seems like a stupid question, but i figured someone on here might know! I want to be able to experience a REAL airplane dropping it's buckets and doing a powerback as these new plastic airplanes and methods of doing everything "efficiently" just aren't smokey or loud enough!

PS i'm 23 years old (not a kid as my username might indicate) and i've been into aviation for a few years. Thanks for any input! I really appreciate the help!

40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17177 posts, RR: 66
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7113 times:

Quoting lexkid12300 (Thread starter):
Do you think Delta DC9 pilots have the ability to deny a tug and request to do a powerback upon exiting the jetway?

I think that nowadays airport and company regs would negate any discretion the Captain might have. Powerbacks are noisy, use lots of fuel and carry some risk. I'd say Delta and the airport are mandating a tug at this point.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineSeptember11 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3623 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7095 times:

I think it depends on union contracts.


Airliners.net of the Future
User currently onlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2124 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7067 times:

As I've stated before here on these forums, my very first flight on an airplane was on an Eastern L-1011 from MCO to Pittsburgh as a kid and we powered back from the gate. I don't recall it very well, but my father (also a pilot) said that it happened and, quite embarrisingly for me, frightened me at the time. I'm sure its much rarer nowadays.


Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7027 times:

Nice gesture by the crew to encourage an Aviation enthusiast.....
Unless there is no Tug/Pushbach truck available,the powerback is virtually ruled out for Noise/FOD/Life reducttion of Engine/Safety reasons.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6900 times:

I ride (and have ridden) quite a few NW/DL DC-9s, and the powerback was dead as of about mid-2007. MEM was the last station that did any quantity of them, likely because of the highly banked structure of that hub.


I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3258 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6812 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 5):
I ride (and have ridden) quite a few NW/DL DC-9s, and the powerback was dead as of about mid-2007. MEM was the last station that did any quantity of them, likely because of the highly banked structure of that hub.

AA, FL and NW were the last three airlines to do powerbacks on their DC9/MD80/717 airplanes. CO stopped it over 20 years ago, and AS and DL never did it AFAIK.

AA and FL stopped it in 2005 and NW in 2006-2007. I think I heard that AA may still do it on rare occasions if a tug isn't available but it's not standard practice.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6797 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 6):
and AS and DL never did it AFAIK.

It would be interesting to know if DL even permits it on DC-9s.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineKGRB From United States of America, joined Sep 2010, 721 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6786 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 5):
I ride (and have ridden) quite a few NW/DL DC-9s, and the powerback was dead as of about mid-2007.

  

I have read elsewhere that the fuel spikes that Summer are what ultimately killed the powerback at NW. Now the power-out on the other hand, is a different story. Many smaller stations still do them, even on mainline aircraft.



Δ D E L T A: Keep Climbing
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3258 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 6764 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 7):
Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 6):
and AS and DL never did it AFAIK.

It would be interesting to know if DL even permits it on DC-9s.

I was referring to pre-merger DL like on their old DC-9s and MD-80s. NW stopped doing Powerbacks before the DL merger.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 6738 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 9):
NW stopped doing Powerbacks before the DL merger.

Yes, which is why I think DL may not even a procedure for doing it.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 6706 times:

Quoting lexkid12300 (Thread starter):



Had to do a little digging but powerbacks are not authorized at Delta Air Lines. I thought a quick search through our intranet would have yielded something but it didn't Had to look through some of the DC9 SOPs for the ramp, mtc and flight OPS. Its strictly prohibited on the 88s/90s, and DC9s.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3258 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6639 times:

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 11):
Had to do a little digging but powerbacks are not authorized at Delta Air Lines. I thought a quick search through our intranet would have yielded something but it didn't Had to look through some of the DC9 SOPs for the ramp, mtc and flight OPS. Its strictly prohibited on the 88s/90s, and DC9s.

Not a surprise. Like I said, to the best of my knowledge, DL never did powerbacks with their heritage DC-9/MD-80/MD-90 fleets. NW had discontinued the practice before the merger anyway, so it stands to reason that DL wouldn't authorize them now.

The only US airlines I know of that have done powerbacks in the past are FL, AA, NW, Republic, Eastern and CO.


User currently offlineJETSTAR From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1665 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6614 times:
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Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 12):
Not a surprise. Like I said, to the best of my knowledge, DL never did powerbacks with their heritage DC-9/MD-80/MD-90 fleets. NW had discontinued the practice before the merger anyway, so it stands to reason that DL wouldn't authorize them now.

The only US airlines I know of that have done powerbacks in the past are FL, AA, NW, Republic, Eastern and CO.

You can add TWA to the list, I have been on a few TWA flights where they powered back, I clearly remember doing a power back out of DFW.

JetStar


User currently offlineSeptember11 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3623 posts, RR: 21
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6336 times:

Eastern loves and lives powerback. I was on Eastern 757 that powerbacked in ATL. I think I saw Eastern powerback A-300s and L-1011s.


Airliners.net of the Future
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6315 times:

Quoting September11 (Reply 14):
I was on Eastern 757 that powerbacked in ATL.

Always wanted to see a B757 Powerback.....Our company SOP disallows powerback for B757s.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently onlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2124 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6310 times:

Quoting September11 (Reply 14):
Eastern loves and lives powerback. I was on Eastern 757 that powerbacked in ATL. I think I saw Eastern powerback A-300s and L-1011s.

I've been on an Eastern L-1011 that powered back.. was back in the 70's out of MCO but yes they did it.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineN243NW From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1640 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6306 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 6):
I think I heard that AA may still do it on rare occasions if a tug isn't available but it's not standard practice.

As of a couple months ago, AA is removing all references to powerbacks from their DC-9 flight manuals. So even if there's no tug available, powerbacks will no longer be permitted.



B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3258 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 6080 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 15):
Quoting September11 (Reply 14):
I was on Eastern 757 that powerbacked in ATL.

Always wanted to see a B757 Powerback.....Our company SOP disallows powerback for B757s.

As I've mentioned in another thread, the Boeing Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), which is FAA certified, does not prohibit powerbacks on the 757 or 737. It does however state for the 747, 767, 777 and 787 that "Backing the airplane using reverse thrust is prohibited".

As of several years ago, I saw a Supplementary Procedure in Brittannia's Ops Manual for 757 powerbacks. AA experimented with powerbacking their 757s, but decided it wasn't a good idea due to potential FOD. I'm told that they also couldn't reliably get the airplane moving backwards at higher gross weights. I worked with an ex-AA Tech Pilot who was tasked with investigating if AA should adopt powerbacks for the 757s.

I would like to see a photo of a 757 or L1011 doing a powerback. Anybody know of one?


User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3258 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 6078 times:

Quoting N243NW (Reply 17):
As of a couple months ago, AA is removing all references to powerbacks from their DC-9 flight manuals. So even if there's no tug available, powerbacks will no longer be permitted.

I'd like to see the procedure for it. Can you paste the old AA MD-80 Supplementary Procedure for Powerbacking?

I have the general gist: roll forward, pop the reversers, feet on the floor, use idle forward thrust to stop the airplane.


User currently offlinestratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1653 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5981 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 19):
I have the general gist: roll forward, pop the reversers, feet on the floor, use idle forward thrust to stop the airplane.

Thats pretty much it I was run/taxi on the DC-9 and 727 at NWA and used to powerback both a/c. The 727 you had to make sure you had enough fuel on board to keep the a/c from being too tail heavy but power forward to get off the flat spot since tires settle when sitting a while then stop pull reverse and do not hit the brakes to stop on a powerback or you will wind up on your tail looking at the sky..Just close the reversers and a little forward power to stop the roll.

[Edited 2012-07-08 22:24:03]

[Edited 2012-07-08 22:25:12]


NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5941 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 19):
use idle forward thrust to stop the airplane.

Very important point.....

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 18):
As I've mentioned in another thread, the Boeing Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), which is FAA certified, does not prohibit powerbacks on the 757 or 737. It does however state for the 747, 767, 777 and 787 that "Backing the airplane using reverse thrust is prohibited".

Why FOD chances on B757 & NOT on B767.....



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5890 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 21):
Why FOD chances on B757 & NOT on B767.....

You mean Why FOD chances on B767 & NOT on B757.....?

He said the AFM doesn't prohibit powerbacks on 757s and 737s but it is on the widebodies.

My only guess would be that the chance of FOD ingestion (and human or equipment for that matter) is much greater on the widerides. I can't even begin to imagine what the noise level would be if a T7 tried to power back. As it is during engine start I can hear a DL T7 start from a concourse and a half away.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3258 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5853 times:

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 22):
Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 21):
Why FOD chances on B757 & NOT on B767.....

You mean Why FOD chances on B767 & NOT on B757.....?

He said the AFM doesn't prohibit powerbacks on 757s and 737s but it is on the widebodies.

I don't know the basis for the AFM limitation that prohibits powerbacks on the 747, 767, 777 and 787 but not that 737 or 757. I'm guessing that FOD is not the reason though.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 22):
I can't even begin to imagine what the noise level would be if a T7 tried to power back

I'll bet it would be quieter than an AA MD-80 doing a powerback, which was louder than h***.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5840 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 23):
I don't know the basis for the AFM limitation that prohibits powerbacks on the 747, 767, 777 and 787 but not that 737 or 757. I'm guessing that FOD is not the reason though.

Apart from FOD,Tilt or Noise....Would there be another reason.



Think of the brighter side!
25 BoeingGuy : Let me see if I can find out.
26 Post contains images lexkid12300 : Damn... Oh well... Thanks for the answer everyone!
27 Post contains links tjwgrr : Gotta luv youtube: NW -9 (DTW) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO-FdDKxuNU FL 717 (TPA?) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdWEArjevZM Private 722 (LCG) h
28 flyhossd : I did two 727 power backs. Keeping your feet flat on the floor (i.e. not on the brakes) was heavily emphasized. I recall that there were some airports
29 NorthStarDC4M : Powerbacking of A300s wasn't done much if at all, it's not mentioned one way or the other in the EA references I have. L1011 powerbacking was allowed
30 BoeingGuy : I've seen two AA MD-80s powerback at the same time several gates apart at DFW. Two things I most miss about modern day aviation: Powerbacks and the d
31 e38 : Quoting lexkid12300 (Thread starter), "Do you think Delta DC9 pilots have the ability to deny a tug and request to do a powerback upon exiting the jet
32 Cubsrule : It would have been some time in the second half of 2006 or early 2007. AFAIK, the gates on the south side of Concourse B at MEM were the last place t
33 Post contains links N243NW : Also, the instructions to the ground crew at my airline were to stop the pilots from moving rearward by using the "come forward" gesture with the wan
34 mcg : Nice video. It looks like that airplane started at North Central, thus I may have flown it between MSP and ORD nearly 40 years ago. Wow! I'd like to g
35 tjwgrr : Nope, North Central never operated the -14 / -15 series. Those birds came from Southern or Hughes Airwest when Republic was formed.
36 FI642 : Powerbacks are no longer permitted at BWI.
37 mcg : I'm pretty sure the airplane in the video is a DC-9-50. My understanding is that all remaining DC-9's in DL's fleet are -50's.
38 stratosphere : Yes the only DC-9's left at DL are the -50's (DC-9-80's/MD-88 don't count)
39 Viscount724 : What video are you referring to? The aircraft in the video in Reply 33 is clearly a DC-9-14 or -15.
40 longhauler : I would imagine several factors must be satisfied before a Captain would elect to do a power-back rather than a push-back with a tug. The pilots would
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