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War Stories and back when


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Time for a topic that does not take away from our "real time" events

Back in the day, CPAir had a DC8-63 on a gate in YWG fully loaded on it's way to SPL. Ramp was frozen, the tug had no traction and the result would have been a cancelled flight, except the PIC know there was little chance for FOD as everything was frozen solid, elected to pull full reverse and backed the aircraft off the gate pulling the tug. The flight left a few mins late and no one really cared about about the infraction except the YWG Airport MANAGER who was pissed because the blow back really rattled the terminal windows. Fortunately none were breached.

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Did the same with a 727 off the old gate 80 in YYZ.  Freezing rain storm, planes parked at the ozone, every time we tried to turn, the nose would break traction and slide.  So I asked the skipper to start and put in in reverse.  Worked like a charm.

Same with a '47 combi off gate 107.  It had a bit of an upslope towards the highway.  Was after a snowstorm and although it was a beautiful sunny day, the ramp had been polished by the sweepers into glass.  Even tried using two 800 paymovers butted together to get traction and it still wouldn't move.  So asked the skipper to start 1 and 4 and put them in reverse idle.  Then called for him to bump it up as I needed.  Got him off the gate!

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I watched in amazement as an American powered back off the gate adjacent to the traffic bridge to the old T1.  He hod the concrete barrier hard enough to lift the nose wheel off the ground.  any harder and he would have ended up down the hill on the road.

The aircraft was taken immediately back to the gate. deplaned then off to the hangar for a few days.

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I was having lunch in the terminal at GRB on a very cold day (minus 30's) in 1989 when a Northwest DC-9 powered back from the gate. It was a bit of an uphill run and the pilot gave it all it was worth - causing a large plate glass window in the restaurant to shatter in a million pieces. Scared the crap out of everyone nearby. 

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One of the problems is that many drivers have little experience in powering back. The trick is to go forward about 12 inches to take the flat spot off the tire and then power back....however don't always believe the guy in the other seat knows that technique.

Had a bunch of VIPs in Arequipa Peru  for some International thing... because it was the highest airport that a MIL  CV580 had ever landed at (little over 7000 feet MSL) , I did the leg in the left seat. It was the FO's job to get us airborne when  we left . One has to appreciate that at that time  this was an airport basically in the middle of nowhere and bore no resemblance to a 1st world country terminal area. We nosed up to a small rock wall, and stopped about 10 feet from it. The pax deplaned and we had to wait about 5 hours for them to come back and we were off to Lima.

"Snidely Whiplash"  was in the left seat and I asked him if he had been taught how to "reverse" a 580 so we could get turned around..

He replied "yes" he had done it when he went through 580 training. I looked out the window and we had a ton of the little local peasants standing on the other side of the 3 foot stone wall as we started the engines.

"Whiplash" started the correct procedure and went forward about a foot, much to the awe of the local people, but then before I could grab the thrust levers and stop him, he went into max reverse.

The spectators  gamely hung onto that little wall for their lives  but their colorful  ponchos, chullos, and sombreros took flight and for all I know, may still be sailing around Peru. Really kind of embarrassing  :o.

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22 hours ago, vanishing point said:

I’m curious what the DC8 crew powered back with the tug still attached.  AFAIK, the nose gear isn’t designed to pull anything.  Also seems a bit redundant.

 

When I saw this "procedure", it was used when the ramp area was iced up. The push back tug couldn't get traction to move the airplane, even with chains. The reverse thrust was just to get the tug moving.

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1 hour ago, barkleygrow said:

When I saw this "procedure", it was used when the ramp area was iced up. The push back tug couldn't get traction to move the airplane, even with chains. The reverse thrust was just to get the tug moving.

I used this a few times.

DC-8’s and once with BAW 747

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I have seen a 767 do a cross bleed start and take out a tug when the aircraft spun on "frozen Glycol " (i swear).  Big fuselage hole.  One must be careful on ice.

 

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There was an ACA 747 under tow turning onto the Apron. It jackknifed and red hydraulic fluid covered the snow around the nose gear. The mechanic riding the brakes opened the door and looked out.

He was the one transported to hospital. Seeing the red he thought the worst had happened to the tug driver and his heart went crazy. 

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