Aviation Photo #0975772 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 - Northwest Airlines

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At DTW, Northwest DC9's often pushback with reverse thrust ("powerback"). This is what happens when the airport crew leaves some of the ice and snow on the ramp. Very showy, but perfectly safe - for planes with tail-mounted engines.
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    Damon Marcus Lewis
    Northwest Airlines
    McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
    McDonnell Douglas DC-9 (C-9 Nightingale/Skytrain II)
    McDonnell Douglas DC-9 (C-9 Nightingale/Skytrain II)
    McDonnell Douglas
    47223
    300
    N605NW
    Detroit - Metropolitan Wayne County
    Michigan
    USA
    December 4, 2005
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Distinct Views: 189,023
Photo Added: December 14, 2005

Comments (59)

Anonymous
11 years ago
Congrats on your first photo! Glad to see it after the rework!!
--Vas
Anonymous
11 years ago
Very nice picture, didn't know they could do that!
Anonymous
11 years ago
Very nice powerback action shots.

Cheers
Avro
Anonymous
11 years ago
Very very interesting picture! ...this is definitely a procedure rare to see! Congratulations!
Anonymous
11 years ago
Good picture.......and the correct terminology for this "pushback with reverse thrust" is powerback!
Anonymous
11 years ago
Beautiful timing and light you dont get pictures like this everyday
Anonymous
11 years ago
I've read dozens of posts about this procedure. But this if the *first* actual photo I've seen of a DC-9 doing it.

Chet Pryor
Anonymous
11 years ago
It's look so cool, It's never see it in Hong Kong.
Anonymous
11 years ago
Hey, how else do we clean up the ramp in the winter?
Anonymous
11 years ago
Need to take out the snow from streets? Here is an idea. ;) T.B.
Anonymous
11 years ago
Interesting photo if we don't read the description... It looks like she landed straight to the gate and is applying full reverse to stop right on the spot. Notice that left elevator is up while right elevator didn't move. (???)
Anonymous
11 years ago
Why is one elevator up and the other down?
Anonymous
11 years ago
Nice action shot! WRT to the poster before, DC-9 can get away with it due to the positioning of the engines - which are no where as near to the ground as on a 737.
Anonymous
11 years ago
Nice photo Damon!!

I'm SOOOO glad to see that this photo made it into the database.

I remember that it was rejected before, but it made it, and I'm happy!

And also your first shot in the DB.

VERY good for a first shot!

Regards,
Reykjavik Spotters - David
Anonymous
11 years ago
Fast and furies
Anonymous
11 years ago
Blow-backs are always fun to watch. The tug driver must have been inside drinking his hot cocoa! Nice shot Damon.
Anonymous
11 years ago
Rare occasion to see that kind of action
Anonymous
11 years ago
Excellent and well captured. Something we don't see everyday. Also an answer to something I did not know. Can planes reverse with reverse thrust? Thank you for the answer!
Anonymous
11 years ago
Hey, is this how Northwest cleans their gates these days? Nice money-saver strategy. Did the BK judge recommend this? :)
Anonymous
11 years ago
DTW McNamera terminal is really cool!!!!
As you get out of your vehicle and look over the parking balcony, you see things just like this....
The airport has a long line of DC-9's to view....
Cool Pic!!!!
Anonymous
11 years ago
Very cool
Anonymous
11 years ago
Wow!!! Spectacular!!! Is there some noise???
Anonymous
11 years ago
I think is a good way to heat-up the engine for the flight... =P.. not bad
Anonymous
11 years ago
Great photo, I love the DC-9, keep up the good work.
Anonymous
11 years ago
Very nice picture, but I'm amazed that self push-back using reverse trust is allowed when there is ice around. I would have thought the risk of ingestion into the engines, or other damage to the aircraft would have been too high.
Anonymous
11 years ago
That is one cool picture!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
11 years ago
Can anyone explain how come only the left elevator is deflected and not the right?
Anonymous
11 years ago
Awesome!
Anonymous
11 years ago
Look at all that snow........and did the plane fly ?
Anonymous
11 years ago
Cool! But is that even legal?
Anonymous
11 years ago
Very original photo!
Anonymous
11 years ago
Good job Damon!
Anonymous
11 years ago
Wow. I've never seen that before since I live in LA.
Anonymous
11 years ago
Yea very nice, that 737 was dangerous to powerback as it has wing mouted engines and there for snow could be sucked into the engine causing problems i think...lol
Anonymous
11 years ago
Definitely odd to see the the left side of the elevator up with the right side down...very nice pic!
Anonymous
11 years ago
Amazing shot! (Just don't get hit with that stuff!) ;)
Anonymous
11 years ago
So rare, and great angle
Anonymous
11 years ago
Anyone else notice the port elevator is but not the starboard?
Anonymous
11 years ago
Wonderful capture at just the right moment. I love seeing shots like this from my home airport. Backing out like that is truly a unique and very loud procedure. I have a video up on FL350.com of one powering back, albeit no snow or anything. I look foreword to seeing more of your pictures.
Anonymous
11 years ago
Good photo but this is absolutely disgusting airmanship. I have never seen such lack of professionalism from a flight crew in my entire life. America needs a strict review of their procedures to bring their levels of safety and professionalism up to standard.
Anonymous
11 years ago
I LOVE it, the power, the sound, the sight!!!
I need to get over to DTW, to go SPOTTING!!!
The "airmanship" is just FINE!!!
Anonymous
11 years ago
Yeah, great shot! But I feel a little uneasy with such old DC-9's still flying after (for some) over 20 years of constant daily service :O, hope they keep good maintenance.
Anonymous
11 years ago
Perfect shot showing the DC-9's power pushback. Love the ice blowing from the reversers.
Anonymous
11 years ago
Excellent. I had the pleasure of being on board a DC-9-30 and powerbacking... it is very fun!
Great photo.
Anonymous
11 years ago
I love thrust reversers great shot
Anonymous
11 years ago
Fantastic shot Damon! Superb action!
Anonymous
10 years ago
You know, engines have very high operating temperatures, I doubt any snow or ice would have even made it past the outlet or inlet. It's debri that is a problem.
Anonymous
10 years ago
Absolutly amazing!
Anonymous
10 years ago
Everytime I hit this site, i have to see this picture! Nothing beats an old DC-9 in that old NW livery!! Marvelous shot!!
Anonymous
10 years ago
Very good picture
Anonymous
10 years ago
Very nice, I had no idea tail mounts could do tht....
Anonymous
9 years ago
Is the plane going to crash? is it landing or what? i like it but i just wanted to know!! yay!!
Anonymous
9 years ago
Some Larger aircraft elevator will move independently to assist the aileron, you'll also find this with spoilers (757). Not sure if this is the case here but you can see also the ailerons are deflected so the yoke is prolly just not in a neutral position, or maybe its a MX flight?

adious putos!
Anonymous
8 years ago
To explain the assymmetry on the elevators: on this type of aircraft (also the MD 80 series) the elevators are controlled via a control tab. so with the airflow over the elevator- the controls column in the cockpit will adjust a little tab on the elevator, and this tab then moves the whole elevator to the desired position. and once the tab is activly controlling one side of the elev. it will handle both of them
Anonymous
8 years ago
It maybe faster, but not safe.
Think of Air Florida flight 90.
Anonymous
7 years ago
I'd agree. it's not a good idea. we all remember Air Florida disaster. I don't think this poses the same amount of risk and danger though, as the engines on DC-9 are mounted much higher than in 737.
Anonymous
6 years ago
I believe this photo shows how dangerous it is to execute this operation. That pilot had to of got written up for that, I hope! Clearly, with the reversers in operation, it increases the danger zone in front of the engine ahead of the wing, and within gate area, that is obviously extremely dangerous! Tugs were designed for a reason. Then again, pilots could care less about the safety of anyone else but the plane and all on board.
Anonymous
6 years ago
Ah how i miss this, to everyone confused about this or thinking it was dangerous, yes, slightly dangerous but this was common practice for dc-9s of northwest (not sure if many other airlines did this as well) to conduct a powerback rather then tug out because it was just that much easier by erasing a step. Also physics would tell us that the ice is being blown away from the plane and not towards it. five stars for the memories of being a child watching and hearing these from the gates.
Anonymous
5 years ago
This is an astounding photo. Not only does it provide beautiful clarity of the plane and its features, but it's the bygone NWA livery. Not to mention it's a powerback! Always fun to see, absolute joy to hear!

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