dl767captain
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How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:24 pm

When i see planes taxiing the nose wheels are always perfectly on the yellow line. How can they do this when the pilots cant see the wheels?
 
express1
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:27 pm

They have fantastic eye sight and judgement.

dave
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ytib
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:27 pm

years of practice. I found when taking flying lessons the first few times when taxiing I was not doing a good job with the middle line but after a little while I was following it quite closely. The same goes for when you are driving and staying within the lanes being askew to one side or maintaining your lane on a bend in the road the more you do it the better you get.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:29 pm

And wen you are in a particualr aircraft type for a while (as most guys are) you can pick a reference from inside the cockpit just from experience and go off of that with the lines and be dead on every time.
What gets measured gets done.
 
pmk
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:33 pm

I often wondered the same thing after spending half an hour trying to successfully taxi, sitting on my hands trying to make a successful turn. I asked a Champion Air pilot how he did it after a beautiful turn and go take off. His reply was perfect and simple.

"I do it 4 times a day."

I guess it's the same as getting to Carnegie Hall...Practice!

PMK
 
pilotboi
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:04 pm



Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 3):
And wen you are in a particualr aircraft type for a while (as most guys are) you can pick a reference from inside the cockpit just from experience and go off of that with the lines and be dead on every time.

Just like in the C172, usually you can use your right leg. In other words, line up the line so that it looks like (if you could draw it under the cowling) it goes right through your right leg.

Also remember that in airliners you don't steer with the rudder pedals which I can imagine makes it easier to control. Imagine trying to steer your car with rudder pedals instead of the steering wheel. You'd be doing a lot of correcting.
 
legacy135
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:26 pm

It's just practice. In the ERJ's, sitting in the left seat, you need to feel the yellow line going trough your right knee and you are on the line  Wink

Cheers
Legacy135  Wink
 
AAR90
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:35 pm



Quoting DL767captain (Thread starter):
When i see planes taxiing the nose wheels are always perfectly on the yellow line. How can they do this when the pilots cant see the wheels?



Quoting Ytib (Reply 2):
practice.



Quoting Pmk (Reply 4):
Practice!



Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 6):
practice

Uh... question answered? Big grin FWIW, I normally do NOT taxi ON the lines when away from the ramp (or other close quarters).... too bumpy.  Wink

Quoting Pilotboi (Reply 5):
Also remember that in airliners you don't steer with the rudder pedals which I can imagine makes it easier to control.

Most airliners DO have at least a limited amount of rudder pedal nose wheel steering. That is my primary steering on open taxiways.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
JRadier
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:36 pm

I think it depends on the person as well. I did some flight training in DA-20/40, which are equiped with toe-brakes only. With my second lesson I pretty much got it figured out (and got a compliment from the CFI). I recon it's just a feeling you need to have or develop.
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
 
pilotboi
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:23 pm



Quoting AAR90 (Reply 7):
Most airliners DO have at least a limited amount of rudder pedal nose wheel steering. That is my primary steering on open taxiways.

Interesting...thanks.
 
fr8mech
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:33 pm

On any aircraft I've taxied (B727, B747, B757/767, DC8, L1011), if you keep the centerline right on your inboard knee (or just inside for the jumbo), you'll hit that centerline everytime. Oh yeah, did I mention...practice.

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 7):
That is my primary steering on open taxiways.

Absolutely. I try to stress that during training. The limited steering (somewhere around 7 degrees) offered by NWS is more than enough track a taxiway centerline and to handle small corrections.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
 
boeing767mech
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:42 pm

On the 757/767 I use the Radio Altimeter as a guide for the center line. On the MD-80 I use the windshied wiper cotter pin as a guide. As for the 777 I use my knee, that's the easy part, the hard part is making the turn with out dragging the gear in the grass or setting off the MLG steering EICAS message (you get this when you turn too slow)

David
Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
 
pilotpip
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:18 pm

The tiller on the 145 is very sensitive. Captains try to avoid it as much as possible and use only the pedals. Taxi with a new captain is always an interesting adventure as a result. My only experience with it was sitting in the left seat during sim training. It wasn't pretty.  Smile

Is there anything worse than hitting every single centerline light? Isn't there a way to make those things a little more smooth?
DMI
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:36 pm



Quoting Pilotboi (Reply 5):
Also remember that in airliners you don't steer with the rudder pedals which I can imagine makes it easier to control. Imagine trying to steer your car with rudder pedals instead of the steering wheel. You'd be doing a lot of correcting.

Many people without arms (or with very short ones) steer with their foot. A guy I knew says it takes a bit of practice but it's no big deal. His wife has no arms.

As an aside, he loved to overtake cars with his hands clasped behind his head. He'll usually nod and smile at drivers he passes. Big grin

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 12):
Is there anything worse than hitting every single centerline light? Isn't there a way to make those things a little more smooth?

Absolutely. You don't mind landing in darkness right?  Wink
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:22 am

Professionals no matter what type of flying.  Big grin
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
ReidYYZ
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:15 am

Taxiing the Tristar is fun, the NW is something like 20 feet behind you (it's been a few years, I don't want to dig out the info from the basement, it scares me-the goblin under my stairs-not the manuals). I found it easier to do a full 90deg turn than a 45deg turn. With the 90, roll fwd until the perpendicular taxi line is in line with your shoulder, then turn. When you have to do a 180 on a rnwy, you turn 45deg from rwy heading, roll fwd until your seat is OVER the grass, then crank hard opposite direction. All while doing min. 15kts or you come to a dead stop.

What I tend to do, even now as Taxiing opportunities are farther and fewer in between, is when I'm riding brakes on a tow, watch for guidance keys as the tow guy (no offense to women, all tow guys were I work are.......guys) stays on the line. It helps. Oh yeah, and practice.
 
UAL Bagsmasher
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:06 am

In the CRJ, I usually line up my right thigh with the centerline. After a while you just get the feel for where you are at in your particular aircraft type. I've gotten pretty good at stopping dead on the "T" at the gates. I try to avoid tracking straight down the taxiway centerline during wet and/or snowy conditions. They are as slippery as ice and are no fun to be driving over in a turn. There's nothing more exciting than having your nosewheel turned to an angle and your aircraft still plowing straight ahead Wink
 
pilotpip
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:11 am



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 13):

Absolutely. You don't mind landing in darkness right?

That's why we have lights on the plane and sides of the runway  Silly
DMI
 
sovietjet
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:13 am

Must be tricky to steer a Trident lol
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:23 am

Practice.
They find a method thats suited.
aligning the Inboard knee to the Windshield wiper on the B737 as one  Smile
regds
MEL
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slz396
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:15 am

I think taxiing Concorde must have been great fun too..

Am I right in assuming the distance from cockpit to nose wheel is the highest ever on a commercial pax plane?
 
oly720man
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:58 pm

Corners can be problematic


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BE77
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:16 pm



Quoting Slz396 (Reply 20):
I think taxiing Concorde must have been great fun too..

Am I right in assuming the distance from cockpit to nose wheel is the highest ever on a commercial pax plane?

Maybe, but it looks like a long way to the nose wheel in a Lancastrian, or, for something still in use, a DC-3?  Smile
Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
 
DaBuzzard
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:34 pm

 psst  Last time I looked, both our greasy 3's were missing nose wheels..... should I report them as stolen??  Wink
 
BoeingOnFinal
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:59 pm

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 12):
My only experience with it was sitting in the left seat during sim training. It wasn't pretty.

I've also heard, depending on the simulator I would believe, that you can get quite dizzy when taxiing in a simulator? That it somehow feels unnatural and fake.

A bad habit when taxiing in a small aircraft when cornering is to constantly use the brakes instead of steering it nicely around the curves with the nose wheel steering. It might be easier to have control that way, but it wears the brakes and unless it is a tail dragger it should not be done that way.

I cannot say that I've mastered it completely yet, but with the right attitude and the willingness to learn I will get there

[Edited 2007-12-04 08:59:30]
norwegianpilot.blogspot.com
 
saab2000
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:05 pm

I taxi perfectly by being an unbelievably good pilot.

Oh, and by reading the Jeppesen 10-9 airport diagram, having the F/O help out, taxiing at a safe speed, paying attention, etc.....

And by practicing.....  Big grin



When we get marshalled in you get to get a feel for where the centerline really relative to your field of view.

[Edited 2007-12-04 09:21:36]
smrtrthnu
 
AAR90
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:30 pm



Quoting BoeingOnFinal (Reply 24):
I've also heard, depending on the simulator I would believe, that you can get quite dizzy when taxiing in a simulator? That it somehow feels unnatural and fake.

I've never gotten dizzy but a sim is definitely unnatural and fake.
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saab2000
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:50 pm

In the CRJ sim it is actually possible to become a bit naseous because the visual really doesn't match the motion. You see one thing and feel something else. Throws off the inner ear and how we process information.

This is really only when taxiing. The flying part is not a problem, but taxiing the CRJ sim is a known sick maker!
smrtrthnu
 
747fan
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:59 pm



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 12):
The tiller on the 145 is very sensitive. Captains try to avoid it as much as possible and use only the pedals. Taxi with a new captain is always an interesting adventure as a result. My only experience with it was sitting in the left seat during sim training. It wasn't pretty.

Some aircraft, such as the Boeing 777, also have a tiller for the First Officer.
I've watched cockpit videos on Youtube of the A340-600, and due to its length, that looks like an interesting plane to taxi! The cockpit would often be over the grass before they began to turn.
 
boeing767mech
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:05 pm



Quoting 747fan (Reply 28):
Some aircraft, such as the Boeing 777, also have a tiller for the First Officer.

737NG's this is a option as well as A300's

David
Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:23 am



Quoting 747fan (Reply 28):
I've watched cockpit videos on Youtube of the A340-600, and due to its length, that looks like an interesting plane to taxi! The cockpit would often be over the grass before they began to turn.

It has cameras to help the pilots too.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
SFOMB67
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:24 am

And at the gate................accupark !
Not as easy as originally perceived
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:02 am



Quoting Sfomb67 (Reply 31):
And at the gate................accupark !

Is that a guy in a cheap suit who comes out and parks the plane for you and gives you a ratty token in return?  duck 
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
SFOMB67
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:56 am



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 32):
Is that a guy in a cheap suit who comes out and parks the plane for you and gives you a ratty token in return?

Accupark is an optical light system used for parking planes at the gate without ground personnel. The only reference I could find, appears in an incident report:

www.37000feet.com/report/223641

The system works as per this system:

www.cimc-tianda.com/webappen/main.asp?sid=176
Not as easy as originally perceived
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:58 am



Quoting Sfomb67 (Reply 33):

Accupark is an optical light system used for parking planes at the gate without ground personnel. The only reference I could find, appears in an incident report:

I knew that.  Wink
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
BA777ER236
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:04 am



Quoting Boeing767mech (Reply 11):
As for the 777 I use my knee

Yep, that works, but also on the 777, I use the vertical 'line' between the PFD and the ND. Extend that line up thru' the glareshield and that reference will put you exactly on the c/l.

Also, on 737, 757, 767, 747, Airbus 319/320 (and still trying to assess 777), the bottom corners of the windscreen track the position of the maingear. Therefore, when taxiing on a straight stretch, if the edges of the taxiway are visually outside of the tracking of the lower edge of your own windscreen (both left and right), then you are safely on the taxiway.

Cheers
 Smile
Flying would be easy if it wasn't for the ground
 
twal1011727
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:01 pm



Quoting ReidYYZ (Reply 15):
With the 90, roll fwd until the perpendicular taxi line is in line with your shoulder, then turn. When you have to do a 180 on a rnwy,

TWA had a video for L10 pilots on just how to make turns.

My dad told me that Frankfurt Germany had an unusual taxiway design (back prior to 1987 when he retired)
that had two taxiways merge into one and pilots could get a gear wedged in between them and rip the tires off the rims.

KD
 
BlueShamu330s
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:53 pm

Now, now chaps, you know all this "follow your inside leg" is a load of rubbish.

It's actually "inside leg and a thumb."

That way you don't get the G'dunk g'dunk g'dunk as you go over the centreline lights.

Not only is it noisy and uncomfortable, it tends to agitate the pre-flight champers in posh class  Big grin

Shamu
So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:17 pm



Quoting ReidYYZ (Reply 15):
Taxiing the Tristar is fun, the NW is something like 20 feet behind you (it's been a few years, I don't want to dig out the info from the basement, it scares me-the goblin under my stairs-not the manuals). I found it easier to do a full 90deg turn than a 45deg turn.

Holds true for the 757 also. It's like when your coming onto the runway and you feel like your halfway down before the pilot starts to make the turn to line up.
What gets measured gets done.
 
jettboy
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:58 pm

Keep the yellow line between your legs and your nose gear will be on it.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:51 am



Quoting Jettboy (Reply 39):
Keep the yellow line between your legs and your nose gear will be on it.

Won't you be a bit off to the side in an airliner if you do this?
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:45 pm



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 40):
Won't you be a bit off to the side in an airliner if you do this?

I would think so.
What gets measured gets done.
 
pilotboi
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:36 pm



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 40):
Won't you be a bit off to the side in an airliner if you do this?

No, because you are sitting off to the left (or right) of the centerline of the aircraft. So if you imagine drawing the line through the aircraft, it would appear (from your high perspective), that it's going through your legs, or somewhere off to the side. If your eyes were in the centerline of the aircraft, then you'd want it to be straight. For every aircraft it's different, but it is usually around your inner leg, or between your legs.
 
sprout5199
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:39 pm

I know when I am taxing(in a little c-152) the c/l is going thru my right leg. I also learned on long straight runs not to look too close to the nose of the airplane. I start to wander to the left and right if I dont keep my focus point about 50 feet ahead of the plane.

Dan in Jupiter
 
don
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RE: How Do Pilots Taxi So Perfectly?

Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:14 pm

So now know the guy driving his BMW on the highway, keeping the lane dividing line as the center line is a pilot.

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