I'd appreciate responses from any who are familiar with 737-200 nosegear that would enlighten me about this one.
Aloha #92 (N804AL; a 737-200 with "plenty" of "doublers" on the fuselage skin) pushed out of Honolulu gate 53 on 2/22/01 - destination: Kona.
The pushback lined us up perfectly with the intended initial taxi.
Initial taxi was perfectly straight from stop, and we attained moderate speed after about 20 seconds.
Suddenly, a loud CLUNK from the nose.
Pilot S L A M S on the brakes, and we STOP RIGHT AWAY.
Many passengers react - "we hit something."
Stew comes on, "Please stay seated until we hear from the cockpit."
Captain comes on and says, "We had no steering control, so we stopped. A mechanic is coming out."
Engines still running.
Mechanic comes out in a golfcart. Spends 3 minutes at the nosegear, and drives away.
We resume our taxi and take off uneventfully.
My hunch is that one of the ramp guys might have, "neglected to do something."
The pilot didn't realize he had no steering authority until he tried to deviate from the initial straight line taxi.
Again, any help would be appreciated.