KAUST
Topic Author
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Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:22 am

Please forgive my newbie naivete`, but I have a question regarding WN's taxi-times from the gates to the runways. I have personally never flown WN (at least not that I can remember), and since they taxi so much quicker to the runway, do the F/A's have to run through a faster paced version of the safety-lecture?

"Houston, this is Apollo 8. We are now in Lunar orbit."
 
ssides
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:27 am

Um, I don't think WN's flights have a quicker "taxi-time." It just depends on their gate location at the airport and ATC coordination.

Their turn-arounds at the gate, however, are industry-leading as far as brevity is concerned.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
ua777222
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:35 am

I really don't understand what you are asking. Just b/c WN is printed on the side of the 737 doesn't mean it will go faster than another 737 during taxi. Distance and other barriers will play a role but not more or less than with another a/c.

They're turn around is as good as it is b/c they only have one type of a/c (so if one is stranded they don't have to look far for a new one) and they normally fly into airports that they serve more than one or two flights daily.

When WN's at an airport their there in force!

Thanks again!

UA777222
"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
 
SafetyDude
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:35 am

Taxi times really vary by airport, but all airlines try to get to the runway as soon as possible.

Their turn-around times are 20 minutes.

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
Boeing Nut
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:41 am

At STL, WN is notorious for taxiing at high speeds to get to the gate if they are just a tad late. They throw caution to the wind to get to the gate on time. It can be a bit of a pissing match when this happens too. WN would complain about AA/TWA vehicles cutting them off quite frequently. At times, justified. But also at times, it's because they taxi so fast, they put vehicles in a precarious situation. They can't help but be in the way when your doing 40 kts on the ramp.

We love WN at STL, but there have been a few times that I have dismissed WN's complaints because I saw the incident first hand and it had no merit.
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
Okie
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:57 am

WN seldom flys to many landing slot restricted airports except on the west coast. So when WN hits the taxiway they are ready to depart. I have been on many a flight with gate holds or sitting on the taxiway waiting for a landing slot at the destination airport on other airlines going to busy airports.

However, I have arrived at OKC on WN and CO before at non busy times when we would take mid field turn off and zing right along to the gate only to have to wait to deplane for a minute or so until the flaps got retracted before they could shut down the engines.

Okie
 
yokohama1970
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Thu Jul 29, 2004 4:06 pm

i witness the SWA (nascar series) high speed taxi-ins, daily. here @ PHX, all the SWA pilots have lead foots! i have spoken with a few of our mechanics here @ AWA & CO. they say that the 737-200 & 300's require braking to maintain reasonable & safe taxi speeds. the CO mechanics said that the next gens (700, 800 & 900) require throttle in order to maintain faster taxi speeds.

at times, SWA pilots almost seem reckless! they cut corners, tailgate & dis-regard the painted taxi line paths. i have heard that pilot bonuses are dependent on performance, kinda like "piece pay." more work (flights) in a shorter time frame yields a bigger bonus pay. just rumors i have heard.

on the north side of terminal 4, is where i see the SWA planes going top speed on active taxiways "Charlie", "Bravo" and even Runway 8 if there is a west to east approach (Buckeye approach).

tom
Thank You Derek! Good Luck with the LA Dodgers
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Thu Jul 29, 2004 4:19 pm

When I was at AS, the pilots complain endlessly about WN's taxi speeds. Most AS pilots dont even want the WN planes around them when then taxi, mainly because they fear of their safety of aircraft and safety of pax. So yeah, WN pilots do taxi way to fast, in my opinion. Makes me think that WN is trying to show-off saying whos the best, etc etc... They need to FRIGGEN SLOW THE HECK DOWN!!!! The taxiway is not a NASCAR race track, for safety's sake!!

The chief pilot at AS has asked the AS pilots to cut down on negative complaints about WN in the cockpit because the F.A.A. is listening in and looking for professionalism. I read about this in an employee publication addressed to pilots in 1999.

Im sure its not only the AS pilots complaining either.....
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
flyboy80
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Thu Jul 29, 2004 4:24 pm

Yeah...its kind of funny to watch...most WN aircraft are constantly in motion when you see them taxing at an airport, they are nutorius for the "rolling takeoff" and having the thurst reversers still deployed when exited the runway while hitting the breaks...thats just the way they do things I guess. I've noticed that as the aircraft pulls into the gate, they often still have their strobe lights on...thats actually quite odd. IN instances, their landing lights were still illuminated as witnessed at LAX... thats the brightest light i've ever encountered I must say!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
barney captain
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Thu Jul 29, 2004 6:19 pm

"IN instances, their landing lights were still illuminated as witnessed at LAX... "

We do that during crew changes so the First Officer doing the pre-flight can check the lights.

"i have heard that pilot bonuses are dependent on performance, kinda like "piece pay." more work (flights) in a shorter time frame yields a bigger bonus pay."

Not true.

"Most AS pilots don't even want the WN planes around them when then taxi, mainly because they fear of their safety of aircraft and safety of pax."

Please.

This thread seems to show up every once in a while mainly as a throw-back
to a long gone era. Most of our turns are now 30 minutes and there simply isn't the haul-a#% mentality that once existed. Our Flight Ops department (along with a 2 year study from NASA Aims Research) has been relentless in identified areas of high pilot work load (like taxiing), and revamped our ENTIRE procedures to allow both pilots to be looking out the window and focused on the task at hand. Unlike most airlines, we now run all of our checklists with the parking brake set and not during the taxi-out to the runway. Might you still see the occasional cowboy? Sure. But if you take a truly unbiased observation, 99% of our taxi speeds are just like everyone else.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Thu Jul 29, 2004 6:29 pm

"Most AS pilots don't even want the WN planes around them when then taxi, mainly because they fear of their safety of aircraft and safety of pax."

Please.


If it was in the employee workgroup publication, then it is true. Chief pilots dont just gun down on their pilots asking them to shut the hell up in the cockpit. I happened to come across this publication by mistake while cleaning up at the beginning of a c-check in SEA. At least AS Chief Capt. Mike Schwannigan (sp?) was nice about it.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
scxmechanic
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:36 pm

AirframeAS
" I read about this in an employee publication addressed to pilots in 1999"

"If it was in the employee workgroup publication, then it is true. Chief pilots dont just gun down on their pilots asking them to shut the hell up in the cockpit. I happened to come across this publication by mistake while cleaning up at the beginning of a c-check in SEA. At least AS Chief Capt. Mike Schwannigan (sp?) was nice about it"

Found in 1999 and it has to be true eh? Five years is a long time don't ya think? Is it possible things could have changed since you found this publication?

 
OPNLguy
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Thu Jul 29, 2004 11:14 pm

Not to mention the blanket "If it was in the employee workgroup publication, then it is true" statement...

Anything that is written, be it in an employee workgroup publication, in Readers Digest, or in the New York Times, is merely the opinion of the author, and any resemblance to "fact" is coincidental. Obviously, some publications have better track records than others, but that aside, all are subject to the same potential inaccuracies and/or "spinning." Just because something appears in print (or on TV) doesn't make it so.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Fri Jul 30, 2004 12:22 am

When I fly 'em, I appreciate the haste with which most WN reach the runway or gate.

When I'm driving on the ramp, vigilant as I am for all aircraft, I focus just a tad harder on WN aircraft.

In my 17 years here, we've threatened more than once to put up speed bumps in the alleyways near WN's gates Big grin.

Might be interesting to start up "slowest taxi speed" thread. I'd start with AA.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
goingboeing
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Fri Jul 30, 2004 6:46 am

Might be interesting to start up "slowest taxi speed" thread. I'd start with AA.

I'd agree with that - Although on a trip a couple of weeks ago, we landed on the far runways and had a long taxi back to the gate area. And the AA pilot really seemed to be taxiing at a pretty fair clip.

As a passenger, I'm not too comfy in any coach seat (6'4"), so the less time in the seat the better. If SWA want's to taxi fast - that's fine by me.
 
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:53 am

I believe WN's policy is that taxi speed equals V1 minus 10kts.  Big grin
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
goingboeing
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:57 am

I believe WN's policy is that taxi speed equals V1 minus 10kts.

And AA's motto is "if your aircraft overtakes that sloth on taxiway alpha, you're going too fast."
 
yhmfan
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Fri Jul 30, 2004 12:14 pm

i have heard that pilot bonuses are dependent on performance, kinda like "piece pay." more work (flights) in a shorter time frame yields a bigger bonus pay

Surely this cannot be true.
If it is, then it can cloud a pilot's judgement. I know pilots are professionals but they are also human.
If you recall, a few years ago a lot of pizza chains stopped the practice of penalizing their delivery guys for late deliveries because they felt it was a safety issue. Now I am not comparing pilots to pizza delivery guys (No disrespect to either of the two intended!!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy) but the analogy is there.
Imagine if judges were paid by how many cases they presided over or doctors were paid by how many operations they performed....... OK may be the second example is not such a good one  Nuts
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KAUST
Topic Author
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Fri Jul 30, 2004 1:27 pm

Once at AUS a WN peeled around the corner and pulled up right behind a NW DC-9, and the NW plane throttled down to a crawl, went the entire taxiway at a snails-pace with this WN plane stuck behind him.

Made for some good laughs on the DL ramp where I was working at the time.

KAUST
"Houston, this is Apollo 8. We are now in Lunar orbit."
 
CanadianNorth
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Fri Jul 30, 2004 1:57 pm

The idea works snowmobiling... going fast is great but on many multiuse trails (skiers, snowshoes, dogsleds n all) specially near corners there is such thing as too fast. We ussually solve the problem by getting infront of the yahoos then put along and enjoy the senery while buddy there gets to take his time aswell.


CanadianNorth
What could possibly go wrong?
 
vsfullthrottle
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Fri Jul 30, 2004 2:25 pm

I love watching those WN pilots taxi those aircraft around MCO, I just wait for the day they actually rotate on the taxiway....  Laugh out loud
 
airplaneboy
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Fri Jul 30, 2004 5:02 pm

I agree that WN planes seem to taxi faster than other airlines, however, isn't there a legal FAA limit as to how fast an aircraft can taxi on taxiways? Can anyone confirm this?

I don't believe that an established airline such as WN would threaten their safety record and mindfulness of FAA regulations by constantly exceeding taxi speed limits. Perhaps WN may taxi towards or at the limit, but not illegally.

Limits are set in place for reasons, and if it's a limit, it should be safer if it is observed. So if the limit is....say 30 knots, and WN taxis at 30 knots, I'd believe that is fine.

I must also say it depends on how much time one is trying to keep or make, and WN certainly has a strict schedule to follow (just consider their 20 minute or less turn-around times).

I was on an AS 737-900 flight from SEA to LAX. The flight was delayed a little over an hour and a half (no reason was given so I unfortunately can't say why). Naturally, the crew knows that everyone has a schedule to keep and had been held up for over an hour and a half. We landed on runway 24 Left (yes Left, and not Right as usual). What was more interesting was that our downwind and final approaches were shaky, and the landing roll took us to the end of the runway (though the crew increased the thrust a bit to get us to the closest turn-off which ended up being the end of the runway). Our taxi back to Terminal 3 was QUICK.... and much appreciated by the passengers. I did not feel unsafe at all.... and I'm sure he was not breaking any legal limits.

Can anyone confirm if there is a limit on taxiing speeds in the U.S. or by ICAO?

Thanks.

Travis/LAX  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Happy flying everyone!
 
itsjustme
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Fri Jul 30, 2004 8:50 pm

Anything that is written, be it in an employee workgroup publication, in Readers Digest, or in the New York Times, is merely the opinion of the author, and any resemblance to "fact" is coincidental. Obviously, some publications have better track records than others, but that aside, all are subject to the same potential inaccuracies and/or "spinning." Just because something appears in print (or on TV) doesn't make it so.

Am I to take this to mean that Mr. Moore's recent "documentary", "Farenheit 9/11" isn't 100% turth and accuracy? Oh my.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Southwest Airlines Taxi Times

Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:08 pm

... agree that WN planes seem to taxi faster than other airlines, however, isn't there a legal FAA limit as to how fast an aircraft can taxi on taxiways? Can anyone confirm this?

Well...airlines have contracts with different airports. The langauge does not only talk about gate useage, slots and landing fees, it also talks about taxi speeds. So I think that it varies from airport to airport. You can taxi faster at your hometown airport than at a downstation airport.

Am I to take this to mean that Mr. Moore's recent "documentary", "Farenheit 9/11" isn't 100% turth and accuracy? Oh my.

Dammit! Keep the freakin' politics OFF the forums!! This has nothing to do with aviation at all! Its annoying, ain't it?!? Geezus! Some people!!!  Angry
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