mojo89
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Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Mon May 31, 2004 9:32 pm

A while back on "Airline", one of the story lines was about a young ramper pushing out of a difficult gate for the first time. Having seen what I have seen at O'Hare, I kind of shrugged at the "difficulty" of this push. Not discounting the fact that it is very intimidating pushing any multi-million dollar aircraft out of any gate for the first time.
The low F gates on T2 at ORD or "Pearl Harbor", as it is known to the employees there is very unforgiving from any of the ten spots that they stack airplanes in. Anybody else know of any other challenging areas of major airports to push out of?
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
 
daumueller
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Mon May 31, 2004 9:36 pm

you'll probably get "better" answers in the techops section.

regards,

ben
 
geoffm
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 5:32 am

Only really awkward one I saw was at MSY where two Delta Connection planes were sitting right in the corner, one pointing the terminal, ours nose-to-nose and left-wing to right-wing to the other plane (can't remember the gate number, but our plane was for MCO, both CRJs of some sort). Ours had to be pushed back, turned through 135 degrees, backwards for about 3 more gates, then turned 90 degrees into a vacant gate from where the pilots could take over.

Geoff M.
 
smcmac32msn
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 5:38 am

NW's gates at CMH look difficult to park, not so much to push from. Like Geoff says nose to nose, right to left, side by side. Two aircraft in the same gate. You can only park the first planes in on the left side of (I think) Gate 34, and the left side of 35. Then they pull the gates away from those aircraft and put one to the right of the original aircraft at that gate. So they have 4 A/C on 2 gates, on the end of the building. You can't get the gate back around to the first A/C until the 2nd one into the gate leaves.
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pilotntrng
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 5:38 am

I remember my first push back was almost a disaster. I was pushing back a DL 757 from gate A2 in CHS and almost clipped a set of boarding stairs lol. I didn't push back for a while after that, but once you get the hang of it, it's not very difficult. Some tricky positions don't help, but if you take it slow and watch your wingwalkers, you'll be ok.

Regards,

Brad
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smcmac32msn
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 5:43 am

My first pushback was fun. I was pushing a CO ERJ from A7 @ MSN, and the pilot must have noticed that I was nervous asked "Have you done this before?" and I said "NO!" He just laughed and said, "Just as long as you don't rip my landing gear off, I'll be happy."
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pilotntrng
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 5:52 am

Smcmac,

lol awesome. Im glad they were cool about it. I have had times where I have had a rough pushback and the crew was a bit rude about it lol . That shoudl be another topic, funny and/or rude comments from the flight deck
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smcmac32msn
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 5:56 am

PilotNtrng - How bout the time my female co-worker was pushing them back, and the F/O asked her out since he was on the RON flight that night! That was classic!
Hey Obama, keep the change! I want my dollar back.
 
NightFlier
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 6:05 am

I like it better when you get a nervous pilot and they ask you, Have you ever done this before? I always respond, No not really but whats the diffence Cessna, 747, there all the same. I always get a kick out of that one  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Airplanes are only as good as the people who fly&fix them.
 
pilotntrng
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 6:12 am

Smcmac,

yeah that is a classic pickup opportunity lol. Nice one flier lol you shoudl tell them yes this is the first time for me and ask them how the hell do you stop this thing? lol


Brad
Booooo Lois, Yaaaa Beer!!!
 
srbmod
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 6:15 am

Gate C1A @ ATL is pretty tough, as the gate is at an angle. About a third of the way back, you have to do about a 35 degree turn to properly align the a/c on the pushback line. The one and only time I ever did a pushback @ FL was out of this gate, and I was nervous to say the least.

ASA used to have some crazy parking spots that were difficult to push back out of, a lot of angled parking spots that if you were to misjudge the turn, you'd hit the wing of another a/c or even a staging bag cart. The most difficult one I ever did was having to push back around another a/c that was blocking it in. I actually had to push the a/c into the spine road in order for me to have enough room to clear the other a/c's wingtip.
 
NightFlier
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 6:17 am

I like that one too Brad  Laugh out loud
Airplanes are only as good as the people who fly&fix them.
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 6:32 am

By far the longest and most labrynthine pushback I recall as a pax was at DTW (former NW terminal), aboard a NW DC-10 bound for Frankfurt. Even though there was nearly constant rearward motion, the push took 10 minutes, making several turns through what appeared to be tight quarters to put the heavy into position to begin taxiing under its own power.
 
cancidas
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 6:35 am

the B1900. i hate it because of the limited nosegear steering. other than that i don't know of any. it's really quite easy to do.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:54 am

The old DTW was a nightmare for pushbacks. F was horrendous for widebodies as they had to be pushed all over the place in order to safety start up and to not block aircraft heading to 21R (now 22L) C,D, and E, not to mention the Golfcourse were all bad. NW shoe-horned as many aircraft as possible into those tiny gates.
 
737Captain
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 8:29 am

In PHX the YV rampers have their work cut out for them when they push out of the B18 or B1 gates. The gate alignment there manages to cram 5 regional aircraft into 2 gates. When they push out of those gates, especially 18A or 18B, they are usually lucky to have a little more than a foot of clearance on either side of wingtips on the planes(and the way some of those guys push-not even a foot of clearance), they then have to make an "s" type pushback using up the entire width of the alley to position the aircraft correctly. I'd post a link to a picture to help you understand what I'm saying, but there are no pictures of that area that have been taken since they changed the parking layout of those gates.
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dl757md
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 8:36 am

Pushing a narrowbody into a taildock in the MX hangar is very delicate. It takes a crew of at least 7 including the driver. The hardest part is the timing of signals as there is a lag time from when the tug driver receives a signal to when he can complete it as a tug/airplane is not the most responsive combination.
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rg828
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 8:39 am

Anyone know whether pushing back at Tom Bradley in LAX is particularly difficult?
The gates between the AA terminal and the TBIT seem very tight, especially the one closest to the glass facade to the right, and all the planes are widebodies.
Just seems very challenging.
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flyCMH
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:15 pm

Definitely gate B25 at Port Columbus for America West. The aircraft sitting at B25 is sandwiched in by the terminal on one side, another aircraft on the other, and usually a Northwest aircraft towards the back. In order to push an aircraft out of B25, one had to start turning the push tug wheel clockwise immediately after clearing the jetway, pushing the aircraft out at a 45 degree angle to avoid the plane parked at B23, while making sure to clear the terminal and any Northwest aircraft at B36. Once through the gauntlet, you're pretty much set.

I’ll always remember my first pushback from the gate. I had recently been hired, and could push back a mainline jet straight back decently, so I decided I was ready to tackle a pushback from B25. No one had told me the hint of waiting until the nose had cleared the jetway to turn the wheel. My wingwalkers tried to steer me in the right direction, which only confused me even more, and I ended up having to put the tug in reverse, pull the plane forward, and try again! On the second attempt, I had my supervisor sit in with me, and we got the plane out. After learning the trick of getting a plane out of there, I was able to pushback planes from B25 without a problem.
 
COAB767
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:23 pm

Gate S7 in SEA isnt a difficult gate to push from it's a difficult gate to park at. Most jetways go straight out and bend at the door. However the jetway for S7 starts at the terminal, bends to the right, then bends at the door. So in order for the pilots to park at this gate they have to go almost to S6, make a 90 degree turn and then pull it into the gate.
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S12PPL
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 1:29 pm

Gate B1 at EUG can be a bear. That was the first gate I pushed out of. A Q400 if I remember correct. That gate can be VERY tricky with an A/C parked at B2, as you have a building, and a another tail to get around. In the morning you have to push a Q200 around a CRJ-700, and on Sundays at one point you had to manouver between that RJ-700 and an EMB-120 of Skywest. Needless to say that push took a while. The pilots didn't even seem nervous, only talking about how beautiful the CRJ-700 was, and how ugly the EMB-120 was Big thumbs up

I did observe a first push, however, that was a disaster. She couldn't get the hang of it, and the person helping her on her OJT had to take over. Not to mention the captain was being an a** hole about it.... Your first push is always the toughest, no doubt.
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thunder9
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Tue Jun 01, 2004 3:53 pm

RG828 --

You must have read my mind!

In the late 1980's, I worked for a contract ramp company at LAX at the TBIT. Gate 104 would have a 744 (usually QF), and at the time Garuda's or UTA's DC-10-30 would be at gate 105. That is the gate you are referring to.

The DC-10's don't have the greatest radius for the nosewheel under tow, mind you. And with the building behind gate 105 (the end of the admin offices for AA @ T4 then), a pushback was a challenging experience to say the least. With a 744 on gate 104, you had to start turning the -10 off 105 at an EXACT spot so that you were backing out of the alley (twy C10, IIRC) at aprox a 60^ angle to the centerline. Then almost immediately after the left wing came abeam the 744's tail, you had to turn all the way in the other direction to the other tow limit, to ensure that you got the left wingtip "inside" the end of that T4 admin building. If you did it right, the -10's tail was nearly backed up to the public sidewalk that connects T4 with the TBIT. Only then could one pull the -10 forward, while turning back the other direction again, up to the engine start line. If you didn't get that wingtip "inside" the building, the -10 wouldn't turn sharp enough to clear the 744 tail & the -10's right wingtip, so you had to work it back and forth about three or four times to "wiggle" the -10 out of the tight spot and into the alleyway.

I only missed the pushback ONE time. Took me at least five minutes to get the aircraft cleared. All this with a/c waiting to taxi in or out of both T4 and TBIT gates. Real fun...

Also, the way AA's gate 40 was configured in the early 1990's was fun when a DC-10 was on 42. A very tight s-turn was required as DL planes were behind the gate, and that twy was quite narrow...

-J
"Keep thy airspeed up, less the earth come from below and smite thee." - William Kershner
 
InnocuousFox
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Wed Jun 02, 2004 2:02 am

At Terminal C in SJC, the Uniteds have to be pushed back to the east and then all the way around the end of the terminal to the west. It's just kinda surreal to be doing backwards in a plane that long.
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FL1TPA
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Wed Jun 02, 2004 3:18 am

The pushbacks from airside D in TPA are ridiculously easy. The ramp is sooo open and spacious that turning an A/C is not even needed except at gate D 53 or 55. You really get spoiled here because when I did temp. duty in PHL, pushing out of the end of the D concourse is crazy. On top of waiting up to 20 min. for ramp traffic, you have to push the a/c onto an active taxiway or into the alley between the D and C concouses. Skill is DEFINATELY required; and this is just with a 717.
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airtran737
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Wed Jun 02, 2004 3:23 am

Pushing an ATA 757 out of LGA is no picnic
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cancidas
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Wed Jun 02, 2004 4:05 am

hey airtran, let me know next time you have a 753 in there, i'd love to come and watch... email me for my number. i work at US, so its a 2 minute drive provided i can find a fast tug,
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
westindian425
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:18 am

Hey, guys!

I'm not a ramp agent, but I have noticed some seemingly difficult areas in LaGuardia (Central Terminal and Delta/Northwest Terminal), and JFK's American Airlines Terminal 8 (only some areas, such as near to the JFK Expressway).

Neil
God did not create aircraft pilots to be on the ground
 
7e72004
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:20 am

Gate 41, 42 or one of NW's gates at EWR seems pretty difficult...it is the one closest to the terminal building and it looks like the pushback is not easy at all.
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dl757md
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Sun Jun 06, 2004 6:01 am

The ramp is a cakewalk compared to this.


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mojo89
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RE: Difficult Aircraft Push Backs

Sun Jun 06, 2004 6:18 am

Agree. Nice pic Dl757md.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

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