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
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...
"Keep thy airspeed up, less the earth come from below and smite thee." - William Kershner