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ShezA

Use Thrust Reversers to Pushback?

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On another forum I frequent, two people have said that they saw airliners push back from the gate by making use of thrust reversers. I find that hard to believe. Wouldn't it blow debris at the terminal windows and probably suck debris into the engines?I'm betting that someone here at avsim can provide an authoritative answer.

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"Power Back" as it's called at some airlines has been done for many years at selected airports. North Central Airlines first started power backs with our Convair 580 turboprops and then with the DC-9's in the early 70's. 19 not 18 :-) . Northwest Airlines still does power backs with the DC-9 at many of the their airports.Ed Weber a.k.a Cap'n Tall

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While I am not an authority on the subject, yes "Certain" types of aircraft can safely push off the gate under their own power.The two models I have personally been on when this was done were the MD-80 at DFW and a 727 at MSP. Both of these aircraft have high mounted engines which are less susceptible to FOD (foreign object damage). That is why you do not see aircraft with wing mounted engines doing this maneuver. Also the ground crew needs to be very careful so that surrounding personnel, equipment and aircraft are not hit by the engine blast. As for the windows in the terminal, those panes of glass are pretty thick and should be able to withstand a little old indirect jet blast, especially if nothing gets blown into them. Terry

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I was on an American aircraft that did this at DFW a few years ago. Can't remember now if it was a 727 or a Fokker 100.Anyway, I believe the maneuver has to be approved both for the aircraft type and the terminal gate. Some combinations of gate configuration (window placement and material, etc.) and aircraft type could do a lot of damage, both to the plane and the terminal, and would never be allowed.

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That used to be a very common occurence, and I imagine is still used to some extent. We used to back our MD80s all the time, and less frequently the 737s. (Because of the possibility of ingesting some FOD). We would also, although very rare, back the 580s out of the gate area when the turning radius was too tight.Darrell

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>We would also, although very rare, back the 580s out of the gate area >when the turning radius was too tight.>>Darrell There's nothing like standin' in front of a prop in reverse. :) :-outtahttp://publish.hometown.aol.com/p3superb/i...s/sign_name.jpgThere is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness".- unknown"My daddy gives me up, to fight for you"- a US Military Members Child

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Yeah, lots of dust, (rocks, paper, etc)! The 737 will give you a face full as well.Darrell

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When I was doing my private training at Bozeman in the 70's, I was waiting to take off when a Frontier 737 landed in front of me. When he turned onto the taxiway after rollout, he found that the parallel taxiway back to the terminal was closed for construction. So, he just hung out the reversers and backed out of the taxiway onto the runway to get around the construction.

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Yep, our pilots were pretty creative! ;-)Darrell

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NWA are still doing this at DTW. I was in one of their DC-9s a couple of months back when they pushed back with the help of reversers, pretty interesting. I think at busy airports it is also a method of expediting departures instead of waiting for the tug to come along.Shez

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