wilco
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Powerback Airports

Fri Mar 05, 2004 5:10 pm

Any airports still permitting powerbacks? I know DFW does, anywhere else? AND, is this only permitted for aircraft with engines mounted high up (i.e. DC9, MD80, etc.)?
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dtwclipper
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RE: Powerback Airports

Fri Mar 05, 2004 11:11 pm

I know that NW DC-9's do it at DTW, but I have only seen it on the east side of the A concourse.
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toltommy
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RE: Powerback Airports

Fri Mar 05, 2004 11:30 pm

AirTran still prefers powerbacks on their 717 fleet, unless conditions prevent it.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:11 am

We used to do powerbacks with the 737-200 with Canadi>n at some American airports if we were flying a 'gravel equipped' aircraft. As the nose gear was different to accommodate the "ski", often the tow bar we encountered didn't work, so had to power back.
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:22 am

Okay, I understand now.

I saw a Calgary-bound Air Canada 732 power back at IAH's D concourse last year. I thought it a bit eccentric since it's not generally done at IAH. But if no towbar would fit the plane, there was no way of pushing it back from the jetway.

No doubt this was a former Canadi>n jet.

 
Luv767s
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 2:46 am

I've seen it done with NW DC9s in DTW, MSP, and ATL, but I can't remember if they do it at MEM or not. I somehow think there isn't enough room. I've also seen AA MD80s do it at IAD. I also remember CO doing it with MD80s in IAH about 10 or so years ago.
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JGPH1A
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 2:48 am

AZ ATR's at MXP do powerbacks - don't know if they're permitted or not, but they do.
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swabna
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:49 am

When I flew MEM-BNA last year on a NW DC-9 we did powerback from the gate. I also remember seeing AA MD-80's doing powerbacks in AUS when I worked there 2 years ago.
 
NW747-400
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 4:02 am

AA MD80's powerback at IAD
 
PVD757
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 5:18 am

AA powerbacked (M80) from the gate at MCI a few years ago when I was enroute through ORD.
 
crjdispatchkid
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 5:43 am

Powerbacks are authorized in Memphis, in the DC-9
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N323ER
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 5:43 am

I know in ATL i think they are only two gates that do a pushback the rest are powerbacks. Also FL in TPA does powerbacks. Here in BWI I wish we could do powerbacks easy on the ramp but does use a fair amount of fuel.


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rumorboy
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 5:49 am

Airtran does mostly pushbacks in ATL now. They bought a bunch of tugs for ATL. Pushbacks now are the norm and powerbacks are used if necessary.
 
ckfred
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 5:58 am

As many times as I have been at ATL, I don't recall seeing DL planes powerback from T or the west side of A.

UA never powered back from the D gates with 727s. I don't recall ever seeing a UA parked at T.

AA used to powerback from gates T10, T11, and T12. There was no powerbacks from T9 due to the baggage tugs entering and leaving the terminal close by. AA only powered back with MD-80s, 727s, and F100s. A friend who flies for AA told me that they tested the 757s for powerbacks when the first few were delivered. Since it kicked up so much more debris than the rear-engine aircraft, it was decided to push back the 757s.

I say used to for AA, because I was at ATL last October. My flight, a F100, departed out of T10, and the plane was pushed back. I don't know if this was by request from airport management, or a company decision. But I noticed flying down to ATL and returning to ORD that the pilots never used the reversers upon landing.

Since AA is retiring the F100 fleet, maybe they are trying to limit the wear and tear on the RR Tays.
 
ssides
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 6:31 am

I have never had anyone give me a straight answer about the pros and cons of powerbacks. Is it more efficient? With fuel prices so high, I find it surprising that so many airlines are doing them. Isn't there greater wear and tear on the engine as well?

If powerbacks are more efficient, I am surprised that many LCCs (WN, for example) don't use the procedure very much.
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wilco
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 6:36 am

Ssides...about the LCCS... a lot of airports flat-out bar the practice of powerback. No doubt a liability issue related to the pilot's restricted view when reversing out of the gate.
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BR715-A1-30
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 6:39 am

AirTran still prefers powerbacks on their 717 fleet, unless conditions prevent it.

AirTran never preferred powerbacks, but due to the lack of tugs in ATL, they had to do powerbacks. Now that they brought in the Stewart&Stevenson Tugs, they do pushbacks from their gates.  Sad Too bad, I will miss those powerbacks.
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srbmod
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 7:31 am

Powerbacks @ ATL are becoming increasingly rare. With AirTran doing them only when necessary, and even NW doesn't do them as much either. I haven't seen AA do one in a few years (I've seen them do them with the MD-80s and the 727). I was sort of surprised the first time I saw a 727 do a powerback, at them time I was not fully aware that just about any jet can be power backed.
 
Boeing757/767
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 7:40 am

I was in a DC-9 that powered back at MSP
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graham697
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 8:12 am

FL does pushbacks at TPA, I remember commenting on the pretty new tugs with AirTran on them. They looked really nice compared to an old TWA tug beside it.
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N323ER
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 8:39 am

TPA been through three times with company everytime was a powerback

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graham697
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:49 am

Living in the Bay, everytime I fly or am down at the airport I see them push back. Now if it was used in the past that is beyond me, but I know they push now.
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bigphilnyc
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:51 am

An American MD-80 powerbacked at LGA last September.

*cough* I have video of it.
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TLHFLA
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:56 am

I recently flew on a NW DC9-10 from MEM to STL and we powered back at MEM...it was very noisy, but very cool!
Bill in ATL
 
cmckeithen
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:59 am

What is a Powerback?
 
hirisk
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:20 am

CO did for a while at CVG.i saw a 737 do it there.

cmckeithen,
a powerback is an aircraft using it's own engines to back off a gate instead of using a tug to push you back.it's the damndest thing to watch!
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cmckeithen
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:42 am

Would that be dangerous? And how does a pilot perform a powerback.
 
SpeedbirdHeavy
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:53 am

I saw a CO 737-200 do a powerback at MKE abut 12 years ago. Which brings me to this question. Are there any aircraft that don't have the "bucket" reversers that do powerbacks?


Powerbacks are authorized in Memphis, in the DC-9

Wow, I didn't know there were airlines still flying the DC-9. How come it is never discussed here?  Big grin

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N243NW
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:16 pm

Would that be dangerous? And how does a pilot perform a powerback.


Indeed, the danger of jet blast and FOD (Foreign Object Debris) on the ramp strewn around by the powerback can make them quite hazardous, which means the ground crew and pilots must be very careful when performing one. This is mainly why aircraft with tail-mounted engines up high powerback most often.
To power back, the pilots usually release the aircraft's brakes and apply a bit of forward thrust to get the aircraft off the "flat" spots of the tires. Once the aircraft has rolled a few feet forward, the pilots pull the reverser handles, causing the reversers to deploy. The thrust is increased until the plane starts moving rearwards at a safe speed. To ensure that the plane does not hit anything behind it, the pilots are guided by the wing walkers (the pilots don't have any mirrors). Once the aircraft is safely away from the gate and on the apron/taxiway, the engines are brought to idle and the reversers are stowed to stop the plane's rearward motion. During this time, the use of the wheel brakes is not encouraged or they are used very sparingly to prevent the aircraft from "doing a wheelie" or "rearing up." Once the plane has stopped, the pilots usually hold in position to receive clearance or complete the preflight checks. Hope this has helped!

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-N243NW  Big thumbs up
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flymia
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:29 pm

Powerbacks are done at BOS. I did it on a MD-80 to MIA a few years ago.


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BR715-A1-30
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:43 pm

I remember powerbacking a few times in ATL. CMCKeithen, here is how it happens.

1. Once the flight is closed, The rampers stand in front of the flight deck talking to the pilot. Once preflight checks are complete, the ramper will hold up his/her index finger and then rotate that finger signalling the pilot to start #1, which will then occur. After the engine is running @ idle, the ramper will hold up 2 fingers, and then rotate them signalling to start #2. That will then occur. Once both engines have been running at idle for 1 to 2 minutes, the ramper will signal the pilot to begin powerback, once the reversers are deployed, the ramper will motion the aircraft to continue backing out until it is time to turn to whatever direction. With the help of the wingwalkers, the aircraft powers back from the gate. After the aircraft is safely away from the gate, the reversers are stowed, and the pilot begins taxiing to the runway for takeoff.

Now that FL has gotten brand new tugs, these are becoming rare. Powerbacks have also recently been cited as a health issue because rampers are getting more jetblast directed towards them which could cause breathing issues, and it also puts more wear and tear on the engine (which explains why FL was changing their 717 engines more frequently than other airlines, and the fact that they put higher cycles on them.)
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Midway2AirTran
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RE: Powerback Airports

Sat Mar 06, 2004 2:41 pm

AirTran has nearly ended all powerbacks due to the excessive amount of fuel that is burnt, which was very significant. I only know this because I've talked with the person at headquarters who did the math that convienced management to finally buy all the extra tugs now showing themselves in ATL and other powerback stations.

I've seen quite a few powerbacks done with NW DC-9s at MSP too. Midway used to utilize them rarely back in the F-100 days at RDU.
"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."