User avatar
usair330
Topic Author
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2002 12:48 pm

Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:58 am

I'm going to be doing my first pushback soon and was wondering if anyone on here can give me any advice or heads up.


Thanx....
 
pogo
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:58 am

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:26 am

Stay calm, do not go too fast. Do you know what aircraft type you will be pushing? will someone be sitting in with you?
When in doubt give it a clout
 
User avatar
usair330
Topic Author
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2002 12:48 pm

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:28 am

someone will be next to me on my first push....

I work for Southwest so I think it will be a 737.

[Edited 2007-03-30 23:28:49]  cloudnine 

[Edited 2007-03-30 23:30:27]
 
pogo
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:58 am

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:34 am

Quoting USAir330 (Reply 2):
someone will be next to me on my first push....

Then listen to what they say, you will learn more doing it for real than learning from what people tell you.
Also, if you can, sit in on other pushbacks with experienced drivers, ask them any questions you might have.
Good luck i'm sure you will be fine.

[Edited 2007-03-30 23:37:30]
When in doubt give it a clout
 
An-225
Posts: 3859
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2000 2:55 am

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:05 am

1. Keep it straight
2. Don't hit anything.
3. Remember, you're driving the tail (assuming you are using the towbar to push the plane). If you want the tail to go right, steer right.
4. Don't panic, you'll get the hang of it.

Alex.
Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:22 am

Try to avoid this:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Preston Theler

 
STJ
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:19 am

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:19 am

As a pushback instructor I always tell them to take their time and if you don't hit anything its a good push. The folks I have the problem teaching are the ones that try to get it perfect and then get frustrated when they can't then struggle or struggle on the first one because they are not getting it right on a line.

Now where I teach we have an alley so they have to turn the aircraft and try to get it between to roadways and there is a center line and I always tell them as long as each main is on its own side of the center line if the nose gear is not right on they are fine but once we start they start trying to drive the nose of the aircraft right on the center line and the tail and mains are way off. (again trying to be perfect). I teach them to always drive the inside main gear for the turn since that is the pivot point of the aircraft and as someone stated above you drive the tail, if you get the tail where you want it the nose will always be where it should.

Good luck and don't stress about it to much as long as you don't hit anything you will be fine and getting perfect pushes comes with time and practice.  Smile
 
r311music
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 2:49 am

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:56 am

I see your a WN agent up in PHL. We had the exact same type of pushback up in BDL as you guys do. They are very sensitive to the gas and brake, so be gentle. When you select the gear, make sure your foot is still on the brake pedal and release slowly until the plane starts moving. Then just add some gas, go slow your first few pushes until you get used to the handling of the aircraft.

Two key points to always remember.

1. Do not fixate on the nose of the aircraft. This is the hardest thing for any newbie to learn. Make sure you scan your surroundings and look at your wing walker now and then to make sure your path is clear.

2. When you do a turn, make sure the tow bar does NOT go past the white line on the front gear door. This will most likely cause a shear pin to break and for you to jacknife the plane.

Overall, pushing 737's is easy. It takes a few pushes to get used to it. Good luck, and welcome aboard.
confusing use of time
 
AA737-823
Posts: 5480
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:06 am

Hahahahahaha, I am SO just a few weeks ahead of you.

Having just learned, and still perfecting my own technique, I have some words of wisdom that I hope will help you out!

First, EVERYBODY has a different method, and they all think I (you) should do it their way. Granted, I am pushing 747s with a tug that weighs more than your 737s (not joking at all here, for real) but the PRINCIPLES are all the same. Some say "keep the lower beacon over the center line." Others suggest I keep the main gear doors (which ride over the center line on a 747, but aren't present at all on your 73!!!) over the lines. Others say "no, no, NO... don't look at anything other than the nosewheel and your 'do not exceed lines'."
Bottom line? Be careful and listen at first, and later experiment to find out what works for you.

There are three main phases, I find.
1. The straight back part (more difficult than I ever imagined)
2. The turn.
3. The line up.
Try to segregate each of those things in your head. I say this because if I separate them mentally, I can salvage one when the other two go wrong. If the straight back goes bad, I can still do a good turn if I haven't already given up and said, "okay, sucky push." See what I mean? If any one of those is bad, you can get the later ones fixed if you take a breath and say, "okay, that sucked, but I am in a different part of this process now, and can still rescue it."

I'll tell ya what one of my coworkers says about it: Mind your 3D's:
Ditch
Damage
Disconnect
If it didn't end up in the ditch, and didn't end up with damage, and the disconnect was successful (the disconnect becomes difficult if you line things up in a strained state) then you DID OKAY!!

One last tip: make sure the bypass pin is installed. Had an airline rep lose his legs (some years ago, before I worked for them) when the towbar broke off of the paymover (not the way it's supposed to fail, but that's what happened) and the bar spun sideways and took out one of his knees.

CAUTION FIRST, PERFECTION LATER!!!
 
AA737-823
Posts: 5480
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:11 am

I can second what the above guy said about going into gear... stay on the brake, and release slowly. There's nothing more annoying as a crew or passenger than being jerked backward. Last summer in Atlanta, an employee of my airline jerked the plane when going into gear, and actually scared some horses very badly... one of the horses reared up and hit his head on the roof of his container, and the on-board veterinarian had to sew his wounds up... delaying the flight for several hours, and of course injuring the horse. Delayed flight with damaged freight does not equal happy customers!

One other tip... I don't know about 737s, but I do know that my 747s have enough inertia that if I panic and SLAM on the breaks, the shear pins will fail as designed due to sudden stress. So, we are always taught to slow down before a problem gets out of hand, rather than wait too long and end up breaking things in order to not break other things.
 
copter808
Posts: 1384
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:14 pm

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:18 am

...all good advice

When you get a little more practice, try to make the push smooth enough that someone onboard who is not looking outside will never realize they are being pushed.

Also,don't forget there are people standing and walking in the isle as you are pushing. Keep it as smooth as you can--yet safe.

Don't be nervous, you'll do fine. It's actually the EASIEST job on the ramp. Never could understand why we had people who never wanted to push!
 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:34 am

Keep your eyes on the tail of the aircraft. Don't look down at the tow bar or the forward landing gear. On sharp turns glance every now and then at the red line to make sure you're not getting too close. Turn the tug in the direction you want the tail of the aircraft to go. I've pushed everything from Airbi to 747s. The bigger the plane, the easier it is to push. You'll relax after you have a few under your belt, but always, always follow SOP and never take anything for granted.
Airliners.net has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
 
User avatar
longhauler
Posts: 6443
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:00 am

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:35 am

Tell the pilots that you are new at it as well. It will get you a ton of patience.

That way they will stick up for you. If you are slow, they will explain that to ground/ramp, if it happens to be rough they will be on your side explaining it to the Flight Attendants.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
hiflyer
Posts: 1274
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:38 am

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:39 pm

Best part of the job-pushback!!

Enjoy it.

Good advice above from some that know....the most important is whatever way you want the tail to go turn that way...carefully. No big turns...no big moves. I taught my students by putting a towbar on the end of a paymover and let them chase it around some cones....going straight is tough but controlling a turn and bringing it back without an aircraft hanging on the end is good stuff.

Eyeballs moving all the time...got a lot of wing out there on both sides. Don't lose sight of your wingwalkers if your carrier does them. Think LUV uses a white line on the nose gear to show limits...most carriers a red line. Don't lose track of where you are...where you want to be...and where that line is.

Other than that...have fun!!!
 
F9Animal
Posts: 4287
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:03 pm

Best advice for your first push is to push it straight back and stop the nosewheel on the taxi line (if that is how PHL is setup). There is no need to push it and turn it on your first try. Once you get enough straight back pushes, you will have a little more familiarity with the equipment, and how the aircraft reacts. A 747 is hella easy to push compared to the 737. You can see everything under the 747, as the 737 sits so low, and you can't see your tail. Take your time, and watch your wing walkers. If you push back at a snails pace, so be it. When you are approaching the area you want to stop, ease off the gas pedal and slowly push the brake. Slow, and smooth movements will ensure a good push. Oh yes, and easy on the steering wheel. I found most newbies got too excited when they saw the towbar and plane turning. They would over correct, and suddenly the plane was all over the place. I found many too fixated on the towbar, which leaves the main focus of your wing walkers.

Have fun!

If your going fast and slam on the brakes, then you might find yourself in trouble. Just take it slow, breathe normally, and have fun!
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
F9Animal
Posts: 4287
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:06 pm

Oh yes, if your doing the headsets, let the pilots know this is your first pushback. That way they can be patient with you, and might be nice enough to let the flight attendants know in advance! I remember when I was on a UA 737 once, and we were being pushed back by a newbie who slammed on the brakes. Needless to say, the flight attendants ended up on their butts during the safety demonstration. While it was funny after the fact, it was not when it happened.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
WestJetYQQ
Posts: 2763
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:31 pm

RE: Advice On Pushing Back?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:45 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
Try to avoid this:

Good Advice!
Will You Try to Change Things? Use the Power that you have, the Power of a Million new Ideas.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

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