SEA nw DC10
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Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 8:46 am

I was at DTW a few days ago on a layover (5 hrs) in the new McNamara terminal....gorgeous terminal by the way...

I noticed that half of the planes, including mine, were backed out of the gate using their reverse thrusters...why is this? It was kinda cool!

SEA nw DC10
 
LH423
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 8:51 am

AA often does that here in Boston when they have an MD-80 parked at the end of their pier. I've often wondered this myself. I think it must just be because it lets the plane get out of the gate quicker (by not having to get towed out of the gate, then start its engines).

LH423
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LY744
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 8:59 am

What specific a/c did you see do this? I was under the impression that a/c with low-mounted engines (737, A320 etc.) do not usually do that to prevent objects from being ingested by the engine.

LY744.
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trintocan
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 9:03 am

LY744, that is true, mostly planes with rear-mounted engines like MD80 and 727 powerback. I have experienced powerbacks on AA and EA and they were always on rear-mounted engine planes.

Trintocan.
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justplanesmart
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 9:10 am

I have also seen only 727 and DC-9 variants (including the MD-80) use powerback. It used to be common at SEA, but new noise regulations introduced in the early 90's put a stop to it. Obviously, it costs more in jet fuel, so there must be savings in other areas to justify its use.
"So many planes; so little time..."
 
dripstick
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 9:25 am

I think the main reason or purpose of powerbacks is lack of pushback tug/tractors at hub airports.

There are so many flights departing their respective gates at peaks periods that there is simply not enough ground support equipment to go around.

I've seen a B727 do it and boy is it loud!
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mirrodie
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 10:23 am

Sea nw dc10, by any chance, were any of those pushbacks made by NWA at DTW?
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BH346
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 10:26 am

No, they don't tend to be big operators of rear-mounted engine jets such as the DC-9  Insane
Isn't the McNamara Terminal only for NW, its partners, and British Airways?
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AIR757200
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 10:59 am

I noticed NW planes (mostly DC-9s) powerback now from the new terminal. I don't think they ever did that at the Davey terminal (to congested?). I've been on a F100 (AA) where we powerbacked from the gate. Pretty cool I say!  Smile

The new terminal houses NW, CO, KL, and soon BA and LH.
 
Skyway1
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 11:47 am

I have seen AA do this with their Fokker 100 flights out of Dayton. I heard they did that because the Worldwide Flight Service employees had problems with the pushback, but that could have been just a rumor.

Chris  Smile
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filejw
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 12:01 pm

NWA powerbacks are to save money ,no mechanic or tug needed.Fuel costs are very small. We did powerback in the old terminal in the mid 80's untill the FAA put a stop to it.JW
 
IAHERJ
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 12:09 pm

Continental up until the mid-1990's powerbacked on a regular basis. They even powerbacked the 737-100/200's due to the bucket type of thrust reversers. Now that was a noisy experience for passangers sitting behind the wing.
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
 
mirrodie
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 12:57 pm

Hmmm, I'm flying NWA soon.

We'll be taking
Flt. 539 LGA-DTW on a DC-9
Flt. 440 DTW-MCO on a 72S
Flt. 441 MCO-DTW on 72S
Flt. 814 DTW-LGA on 757

Assuming that the equipment stays as is, what do you think are the chances of a powered push back on the first 3 legs?
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blink182
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 2:07 pm

I think it is mostly due to lack of pushback tugs at hub airports.
At DFW, I have seen AA MD-80s do it a countless number of times.

blink
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JETPILOT
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 2:13 pm

Some airport policies dont allow power backs, and some airlines strictly prohibit the operation.

On the 727 you need to be carefull on powerbacks. In some rear CG loading situations if you hit the brakes too hard the nose gear will leave the ground.

JET
 
Alaskaairlines
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 2:19 pm

They do that more on aircraft that have the engines sitting up high, like the MD-80 style, the 737's an on have there engines sitting low, so that can suck junk into the engine.

-Dmitry
 
Guest

RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 2:22 pm

You just have to do it with care, so the aircraft doesn't tip, and there has to be a correct balance between the clutch and the gearstick- otherwise have you ever seen a 727-277 do a frogleap?

How do you steer the aircraft while it is in reverse park this way?

SixStarAnsett
 
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VapourTrails
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate..

Sun Apr 14, 2002 2:58 pm

From Australia. Qantas - Spirit of Australia.
 
swake
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate..

Sun Apr 14, 2002 6:33 pm

not always a good idea...
reminder of the Air Florida 90 tragedy
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brains
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 10:07 pm

BTW, there is a pic on a-net of an AirTran 717 using reverse thrust to back out of its gate at ATL.
Brains
 
L-188
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Sun Apr 14, 2002 10:13 pm

Markair took out a couple of windows one winter on the A concourse at ANC.

Their 737 picked up that much debries and took it out.
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mirrodie
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Mon Apr 15, 2002 2:07 am

Flt. 539 LGA-DTW on a DC-9
Flt. 440 DTW-MCO on a 72S
Flt. 441 MCO-DTW on 72S

Any idea is a pushback would be done from either LGA,DTW or MCO? THese are all on Northwest.

Thanks.
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saxman66
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Mon Apr 15, 2002 2:55 am

The only engines that have reverse thrust for backing out are low-bypass engines. These are the kind that are long and narrow, and on tail-mounted planes. You also see low-bypass engines on the 737-200. Likewise, the short-fat engines, are called high-bypass.
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DELTA777
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Mon Apr 15, 2002 2:58 am

AirTran does that @ CAK. very nice!

D E L T A 7 7 7
 
calpilot
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RE: Check Again Sax?

Mon Apr 15, 2002 6:28 am

Sorry but Eastern did powerbacks with the B757, and Airtran is doing it with the B717, both High By-pass.

It works fine with both, the main factor against is the FOD issue.
 
Adam84
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Mon Apr 15, 2002 6:59 am

I have seen AA do this quite a bit in DFW. I have also seen it done by a NW DC-9 in MSP.

The one in MSP was not a pretty experience. It was hella loud and it was making the terminal windows make a loud banging noise, people were freaking out and backing away from the window.

The times in DFW werent dramatic at all.
 
captainAD
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Mon Apr 15, 2002 7:34 am

i've been on a flight from SRQ to DTW on a NW DC9 and it used reverse thrust to push back from the gate...
 
Continental
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Mon Apr 15, 2002 7:42 am

I noticed in MSP that the DC-9s use their thrust reversers to back out.

Continental
 
ZRH
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Mon Apr 15, 2002 8:04 am

I think you only can do that on airports where there is enough space because the pilots can't see where they are goeing. Here in Zurich I have never seen it because in the back of the gates there are always other gates with other aircrafts. Even while pushing back they have to be very precise and carefull. The handling companies here have a lot of modern pushback vehicles.
 
mirrodie
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Mon Apr 15, 2002 12:50 pm

Filejw, would you know or hazard a guess about the NW jets and airports I mentioned?

Also, whose choice is it to do so? The pilot or otherwise?

If it is mosre cost effective than a tug, can a pilot just say the heck with the tug, even if one if available?
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n757tw
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Mon Apr 15, 2002 2:28 pm

I think that ground crews would prefer powerbacks all the time, but the airline doesn't for a couple of reasons:

1.) Fuel, you have to start both engines early.
Most of the time, after push back, and taxi they will only have one engine running, and start the second, on the way to the runway.

2.) Noise regulations.
They are very noisy, they have to spool up pretty high to be able to move.

3.) Some airport prohibit them because of tight ramp areas.
If there are aircraft/gates directly behind they will get jet blasted. Remember before the thrust reverser opens, he moves forward about a foot, to start a momentum, then engages the reverser. Plus it is hard (or impossible) to stear while in reverse. So they have to have space behind them.

N 7 5 7 T W

p.s. Hope my facts are correct, my Dad told me about it, when he worked for OZ/TW.
 
thomacf
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RE: Using Reverse Thrust To Back Out Of Gate...

Mon Apr 15, 2002 2:51 pm

I noticed that almost all Airtran aircraft do it in Atlanta.

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