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Guest Grey_Wolf

Taxing with reverse thrust

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Hello all,I was on a NW flight from DTW to MDW last evening (DC9-30). Instead of being pushed from the gate with a tug, the pilot backed up from the gate using reverse thurst. I've been on quite a few commercial flights, but I'm sure they all used a tug to push from the gate.any comments...-DSN

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Hey,I was amazed when I saw the same exact thing at Rapid City Regl. in SD last summer. A NW DC9 there too! Must be their procedure at smaller airports...although DTW isn't so small is it? It'd be interesting to find out.-speedbird

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Almost every time I've flown the MD-80/90 series the A/C has backed away using reverse thrust. It is very common for that type of aircraft, due to its tail mount engines. Most interesting though was a flight taken in '77 on a super DC-8. On that flight, reverse thrust was used on the inboard engines to slow the aircraft down on a short hop between Munich and Milan. We were over a cloud deck, and the sensation was as if stopping in mid-air.FS98 had the ability to deploy reverse thrust in the air. FS2000 dropped this feature, requiring an aircraft to be on ground before reverse thrust could be used. Even in FS2002, you can back away from the gate using reverse thrust, although it involves an edit to the .air file in most cases, and some tricky handling of the throttle.

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American does it w/ there Super80's all the time, its called a power back. not sure what the main reason is but Ill just ask next time I ride on a Super 80.Happy FlyingAnthony Hurst

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Very interesting. I can only think of maybe three times I've flown on a DC-9. Almost always on 737'sThanks for you input-DSN

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Both AirTran and Southwest incorporate this procedure to save time and cost. Think about it. You start at the gate with the engines running, and powerback, then you're off. No inserting steering pin, push back, parking brake set, remove steering pin, wait for ground crew to clear, start engines, and then you're FINALLY off. Also, I believe now days that most airlines sub-contract their baggage handlers and ground crew, so the less personell needed to get the flight underway, the less cost is passed onto the customer, hence AirTran and SWA being know as low-fare airlines.

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I don't believe Southwest does pushbacks using reverse thrust. They fly 737's--not suited to this type of operation, I believe. I fly SWA frequently, and I have always seen them use the tractors for the pushbacks.

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Only high-mounted engines can be used for powerbacks. Using reverse thrust to push back with wing-mounted engines will risk having foreign debris sucked into the engine causing damage. Therefore, aircraft with wing-mounted engines will use tugs pretty much all the time.Virtually every departing flight I've seen while watching in our airports observation deck are starting at least one engine during pushback, such that by the time they're disconnecting the tug, the aircraft is very close to taxi-ready when they're clear. Coincidentally, as of the last time I was there, the DC9's/MD8x's I've seen here at CYWG have also been pushed back by tugs, not with reverse thrust, though I haven't been in the observation deck for quite some time.....But then again, maybe these are just the policies of Air Canada, Canadian Airlines, and Northwest as of the last time I went to the airport observation deck, and other airlines may wait until the tug is disconnected before starting any engine (other than APU).....

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I worked at washington Dulles International airport, a frew years out of highschool, as food services. Some of the jets with tail mounted engines used a reverse thrust to back up to the taxiway. I dont remember the paticuler type aircraft but the nacells them selves would seperate and hydralics moved the uper half in a position to deflect the engine thrust forward. Back then I reconised those type aircraft mostly by their landing gear, my most frequent view, and a distinctive seam on the nacells. we tnded to avoid being near these aircraft because they had to throttle up to near take off power to back up at a fast walking speed. Air france, whose 747's I kept supplyed with food, had a more unique tecnique in my opnion. THeir gateway was situated at the end of midway terminal they could park the plane in a fasion that they could still join with the rampway but did not have to back away from the terminal, by cutting hard right they could veer away. All other jets that parked at the terminals had to use tugs.Having FunGrey_Wolf

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