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bob34

Staying on the Taxi Line

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I had a simple question I've been neglecting to ask a commercial pilot for quite sometime. Last night I got the opportunity and please forgive me if this is common knowledge.I asked my pilot friend what point of reference does a pilot use to keep the nose wheel right on the taxi line. I've always been so impressed with how well they do it.My friend is a CRJ pilot for Pinnacle (NW Airlink) and he told me the CRJ pilots use their right inside knee. 737's use the right outside knee. Sounds simple enough - but question answered.I was wondering if anyone else knew of reference points regarding other aircraft.I thought there may be a mark on the panel, but the knee is a good reference because it works despite the pilots height.Trivial, but interesting I suppose.BobKMEM

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On the little Cessna, the only thing I actually fly in the true blue, I use the prop spinner (hub)--and look to the horizon; you don't drive your car looking 3 feet in front of you!

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I've been through reference points on the cowel during level turns and such back in my training days, but the amazement was more around having that front tire dead smack in the middle of the line.For larger aircraft, I've been in FedEx's A300 simulator a few times but had no idea how close my front wheel actually was to the paint.(and by the way - it was much easier to taxi the A300 than any plane in FS as far as keeping it straight)I was watching a 757 last week taxing right down the middle with that tire dead center. Took a nice right turn and straigtened right out - dead center on the line again. Great stuff. I was just curious on what reference point (besides lots and lots of practice) in the cockpit helped them get that wheel dead center.BTW - In Memphis - most people do drive their cars like that! :) Watch out if you come to town!BobKMEM

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