Topic Author
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:30 am

Who Can Tow An Aircraft?

Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:10 pm

My step dad works for Air New Zealand as an engineer in Christchurch, and on tuesday he towed an aircraft from one end of the hangar to the other by pulling it out and putting it in on the otherside of the hangar, as it had just been washed and now needed scheduled matenience. But he did not have any sort of licence for towing an aircraft. But he was under supervision from people who do. Is this aloud to happen or not?


Airlines flown: BA,BD,NZ,SQ,FR,ZB,EK,JQ
Posts: 828
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:45 am

RE: Who Can Tow An Aircraft?

Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:40 pm

This question would be best asked in the Tech/Ops forum.
Posts: 3261
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 3:47 am

RE: Who Can Tow An Aircraft?

Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:41 pm

Maybe he was training to do so. Usually airlines have a procedure where you must have certain training to pushback and tow airplanes. Once you have completed this training you must show that you are proficient in doing so. I am certified to pushback and tow, as well as teach others how do do so. Hope this helps you out.
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 11:38 am

RE: Who Can Tow An Aircraft?

Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:37 pm

Aircraft are towed by either engineers (AMEs / A&Ps) or rampies. There is a process to go through to become trained - it varies depending on the company. To tow an airplane on an airport, you need to be able to use the radio (in Canada, you need a radio operator licence), you need to be able to drive the tractor (local training, usually just a quick drive), and to be familiar with towing procedures. Usually that's a few trips with a supervising driver.

Once you've done that, at my company at least, you're on your own, fully qualified to move a $40 million dollar airplane, regardless of weather, taxiway condition, and hangar congestion. Don't hit anything.

Generally AMEs tow aircraft for maintenance, and rampies do push-backs.
The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the manufacturer and impossible for the AME.
Posts: 4716
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 4:22 am

RE: Who Can Tow An Aircraft?

Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:36 pm

It differs by airline.
At some airlines, only maintenance is allowed to use the push tugs at all, be it towing or pushing.
At mine, the ramp does everything. I work on the ramp, and I'd only been on the job for maybe three months before I was towing planes from one side of the airport to the other. It's not complicated.

The airport, as of last year now requires a separate certification to tow aircraft. I haven't needed to get one as of yet.
Posts: 7623
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 7:49 pm

RE: Who Can Tow An Aircraft?

Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:34 pm

See this thread, lots of replies and information :
Non-pilot Taxi (by RG828 Apr 13 2006 in Tech Ops)
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos