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717 Pushback Ability?

Thu Sep 21, 2000 2:29 pm

At my airport, the only airline that brings jets in is AirTran. When my airline doesn't have any Dash 8's on the ground, sometimes I sit on the back of our deicers and watch the FL ground crew send a plane out. The 737s always get pushed back, the DC9's always go back under their own power. We had a 717 in once, but I didn't get to watch them work it very much. Does the 717 have the ability to power back, does it require a push, or is it one of those "well, we'd RATHER push it back, but it can power back if it's absolutely necessary" deals?
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RE: 717 Pushback Ability?

Thu Sep 21, 2000 2:35 pm

In Atlanta we always power the 717s out of our gates. UNless there is obstructions or inadequate clearence it is SOP to do a powerback. The DC-9 and 717 have awckaward tow bars taht are a real pain. The time it takes to hook it up establish communciatons push it out un hook it clear the area is precious time... with a power back its hand signals only.. Light off # 2 if its a dc 9 (#1) if its a 717 light up the other engine.. get the capt to point in the direction he wants to go get clearence from your wing walers bring him forward then marshall him backwards.. very efficient.. Out satations like MCO and IAD have no choice but to pushout due to gate clearence..
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RE: 717 Pushback Ability?

Thu Sep 21, 2000 4:31 pm

Yes, we powered back out of ICT.
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RE: 717 Pushback Ability?

Thu Sep 21, 2000 10:44 pm

Almost all aircraft with fuselage mounted engines (such as DC-9, 717, MD-80, 727, etc) have the ability to powerback. Powering back puts quite a stress on the engines (running them at near takeoff thrust), so obviously, most carriers avoid doing it. However, powering back with wing mounted engines (like the 737) is extremely rare (if not impossible??). I imagine there is mouch more of a risk of it kicking up debris here. Even AirTran pushes backs its 737s, regardless of the airport.

RE: 717 Pushback Ability?

Thu Sep 21, 2000 11:45 pm

how much space around the aircraft is required to do a powerback?
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RE: 717 Pushback Ability?

Fri Sep 22, 2000 1:20 am

Airtran doesn't have 737's ????

A powerback doesn't use anywhere near TO power.

It's up to the airline to detrmine weather it will utilize powerback operations. This information will be contained in the companies operation specifications.

A powerback was a contributing factor for the AirFlorida 737 accident at Dulles. AirFlorida did not authorize powerbacks.

The C-17 can is a pretty good example of a wing mounted engines reverse capability. It's high ground manouverability is due to the utilization of reverse thrust.

RE: 717 Pushback Ability?

Fri Sep 22, 2000 6:47 am

Yes, a C-17 can do powerbacks very well. But you have to remember that the wings are high mounted and will not kick up debris as much as a low wing 737. The low wing leaves the CFM56 engines extremely low to the ground. And from I have seen of some airports' FOD practices, I wouldn't want to power back low wing jets with wing mounted engines.
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Powerback History

Sat Sep 23, 2000 5:30 am

Does anyone know the history of the powerback.. The story I heard was that it was first regularly used by EAL in ATL to get A/C out of the gate without requiring the mechanics (union) to do a push back.. I heard the 1st A/C was a 757 and that Charlie Bryant was not going to allow it to happen and stood behind the engine.. After somehting with the IAM the powerback comenced and when the throttles went forward Charlie went flying backwards head over heals .. this sounds way far fetched but nothing would surprise me ! Anyone know about this?
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Air Florida 737

Wed Sep 27, 2000 11:00 am

Just a slight correction to what JETPILOT said. Air Florida Flight 90 departed DCA on its doomed journey, not IAD.

RE: 717 Pushback Ability?

Wed Sep 27, 2000 4:51 pm

There was a Markair 737-200 that powered back out of one of the gates here in Anchorage in 88-90...ish....There was too much ice on the ramp to get traction on the ground with a pushback tug....

Anyway the blast from the engines was enough that it took out one of the windows on the second floor of the terminal.

I have witnessed powerbacks with the following aircraft, 727-100,L-188,C-130, BE-8T, C-212.

Ok only one of those is a Jet...I admit it.

RE: 717 Pushback Ability?

Wed Sep 27, 2000 6:57 pm

Believe it or not most airliners can power back. The reason most airlines don't is a safety factor. One, the plane powers back using it's reversers. This tends to blow up any and all debris on the ground, including ramp personel etc....can we say FOD !. Second, there is the potential to over temp the engines, most flt handbooks state reversers should not be used below 60kts, again the over temp problem. Three, the clearances needed just aren't there, too many gates these days are simply put, tight. I hope this answers your question.

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