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Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 7:25 pm
by kabq737
Hey everybody

I recently came across this video of a Korean Air 747 being pulled back as opposed to pushed back.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CAZcFofgQf ... b0bzbvxhdh

Is there an advantage to this sort of thing? How common is it?

Kabq737

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 8:19 pm
by strfyr51
kabq737 wrote:
Hey everybody

I recently came across this video of a Korean Air 747 being pulled back as opposed to pushed back.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CAZcFofgQf ... b0bzbvxhdh

Is there an advantage to this sort of thing? How common is it?

Kabq737

It depends on what the need is. the 747 can be moved by towing from the front or pushing from the back. The tug driver? Had better know what they're doing though.
I've done it and seen it done both ways. Especially docking into a Hangar with access scaffolding all around it.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 12:29 am
by fr8mech
Really, just different technique. As noted, if towing from below, you can get into a tighter space.

I've found that towing from below is a little quicker, and you don't have very much counter steering to get the aircraft where you want it. You just need to be sure you keep the tug pointed between the wing gear, because you no longer have nose gear visibility, depending on how you set up the tug.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 2:29 am
by kabq737
That’s interesting thanks for the answers everyone.

Can all aircraft have a tow bar connected from the rear?

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 3:15 am
by StereoTechque
kabq737 wrote:
That’s interesting thanks for the answers everyone.

Can all aircraft have a tow bar connected from the rear?

Nope not all aircrafts have that luxury.
There is a provision on the A320 MLG so that it can be pulled back in case of NLG overrun.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 4:26 am
by vikkyvik
I've never seen this before....kinda crazy!

I'm obviously no expert, but I'd imagine being able to see the nose gear and the airplane, without turning your head back and forth, would be one advantage of a pushback.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 4:32 am
by fr8mech
vikkyvik wrote:
I've never seen this before....kinda crazy!

I'm obviously no expert, but I'd imagine being able to see the nose gear and the airplane, without turning your head back and forth, would be one advantage of a pushback.


That type of tug can be driven from either end. The way the guy on the video was is doing it was frowned upon by one of my employers. You hooked the aircraft up, then went to the other cab and faced the direction of travel during the actual push.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 4:34 am
by vikkyvik
fr8mech wrote:
vikkyvik wrote:
I've never seen this before....kinda crazy!

I'm obviously no expert, but I'd imagine being able to see the nose gear and the airplane, without turning your head back and forth, would be one advantage of a pushback.


That type of tug can be driven from either end. The way the guy on the video was is doing it was frowned upon by one of my employers. You hooked the aircraft up, then went to the other cab and faced the direction of travel during the actual push.


But doesn't that mean you still have to turn around to see the nose gear?

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 4:46 am
by fr8mech
vikkyvik wrote:
But doesn't that mean you still have to turn around to see the nose gear?


Yes. But the spots we used this type of push on...in the hangar area...was a quick turn to a straight back push for a hundred yards or so, then stop and drop the aircraft. Spent almost the entire push looking at the main gear.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 2:36 pm
by vikkyvik
fr8mech wrote:
vikkyvik wrote:
But doesn't that mean you still have to turn around to see the nose gear?


Yes. But the spots we used this type of push on...in the hangar area...was a quick turn to a straight back push for a hundred yards or so, then stop and drop the aircraft. Spent almost the entire push looking at the main gear.


Gotcha, thanks.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 5:18 pm
by DFW17L
I remember when AA used TRs for “pullback” on the MD80s at DFW. The sequence would start with a momentary forward motion, then you’d hear the TRs engage before starting your pullback. Except for the slight forward motion, it was pretty cool.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Tue May 26, 2020 6:42 pm
by AirKevin
kabq737 wrote:
Can all aircraft have a tow bar connected from the rear?

Kind of curious if there's a tug that's small enough to fit under some of these planes, like a 737.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Tue May 26, 2020 10:24 pm
by strfyr51
kabq737 wrote:
That’s interesting thanks for the answers everyone.

Can all aircraft have a tow bar connected from the rear?

No, the belly has to be more than 6' above the ground to even do that, so not may Airliners have that clearance.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Tue May 26, 2020 10:34 pm
by strfyr51
fr8mech wrote:
Really, just different technique. As noted, if towing from below, you can get into a tighter space.

I've found that towing from below is a little quicker, and you don't have very much counter steering to get the aircraft where you want it. You just need to be sure you keep the tug pointed between the wing gear, because you no longer have nose gear visibility, depending on how you set up the tug.

the tug driver could have driven that TL from either end. while I do not agree with the way he did it? He didn't damage the airplane so? It was ok.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Wed May 27, 2020 12:33 am
by fr8mech
strfyr51 wrote:
the tug driver could have driven that TL from either end. while I do not agree with the way he did it? He didn't damage the airplane so? It was ok.


I don't disagree. Just saying the way he did it was frowned upon by one of my employers. Another employer didn't really address it one way or the other. I've done it both ways, depending on the situation. I just preferred to drive "forward".

If done right, it's perfectly safe.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Wed May 27, 2020 2:17 am
by StereoTechque
DFW17L wrote:
I remember when AA used TRs for “pullback” on the MD80s at DFW. The sequence would start with a momentary forward motion, then you’d hear the TRs engage before starting your pullback. Except for the slight forward motion, it was pretty cool.


It was called Powerback. Saved a few minutes of time but it is expensive.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Wed May 27, 2020 3:41 am
by RetiredWeasel
StereoTechque wrote:
DFW17L wrote:
I remember when AA used TRs for “pullback” on the MD80s at DFW. The sequence would start with a momentary forward motion, then you’d hear the TRs engage before starting your pullback. Except for the slight forward motion, it was pretty cool.


It was called Powerback. Saved a few minutes of time but it is expensive.


Not really that expensive depending on the price of fuel. Many out stations during my 727 days had limited tugs if you could even get one and my company paid some of these contractors a bunch for pushbacks. Cheaper to do a powerback I was told. Still needed a marshaller and wing walker.

Re: Advantages of a pullback vs a pushback?

Posted: Wed May 27, 2020 3:54 am
by FGITD
RetiredWeasel wrote:
StereoTechque wrote:
DFW17L wrote:
I remember when AA used TRs for “pullback” on the MD80s at DFW. The sequence would start with a momentary forward motion, then you’d hear the TRs engage before starting your pullback. Except for the slight forward motion, it was pretty cool.


It was called Powerback. Saved a few minutes of time but it is expensive.


Not really that expensive depending on the price of fuel. Many out stations during my 727 days had limited tugs if you could even get one and my company paid some of these contractors a bunch for pushbacks. Cheaper to do a powerback I was told. Still needed a marshaller and wing walker.


One of the more fun marshalling signals though. Definitely required a little more skill and a quick talk with the pilots. You'd be hard pressed to find a team that would know how to do it these days.