Eastern airways often use 'powerback' with their Jetstreams, though usually at the smaller, and less busy airports such as Southampton, Aberdeen and the Isle of Man. They use the reverse pitch of the props and yes, it is VERY noisy!! They must still have a ground crew to marshal them rearwards to ensure all is clear behind.
The pushback is team at a large airport such as Manchester often comprises of three ground crew. One to drive the Tug, one to interact with the flight crew (usually via a headset & intercom which plug into the side of the aircraft), and one to ensure that the passing airside 'road' traffic (catering vans, fuel trucks, baggage trucks etc) stops to allow the aircraft to be pushed away from it's stand and onto the taxiway.
Once the aircraft is ready to go (with it's doors closed), the tug is connected to the nose wheel with a 'tow bar' and i'ts park brake is set. The ground crew do a final walk-round to remove the wheel chocks, check all doors and hatches are closed and give the aircraft a final once-over! They will also usually unplug the Ground power unit if no longer required.
The flight crew usually request 'start and push' from the ground frequency of the airport. They will also ask the ground crew (via the intercom) if all their external checks are complete. Once everyone is happy, the 'red beacon' is swithed on from the flight deck (to alert everyone around that it is 'live'), and the flight crew will report 'cleared for push and start' and the ground crew will ask for 'brakes release', and start their pushback.
Whilst the push is underway, the flight crew will ask the headset guy (who walks out along-side the plane), if it is clear to start the engines one at a time, and if all clear behind, he will state clear and monitor the engine start from the outside (obviously informing the crew if anything unusual occurs)!!
Once the aircraft has been pushed into position on the taxiway, the ground crew will ask for the aircraft brakes to be set, the crew will confirm 'brakes set & engines running', and instruct the ground crew to disconnect. The 'tow bar' is detached from the nose wheel, the tug is driven clear and the headset guy unplugs from the aircraft and walks clear before facing the flight crew and giving a 'thumbs up' to indicate all ground equipment has been removed.
The flight crew signal back (with suitable hand gesture
) and the flight crew radio for 'taxi' Once cleared by ATC, of they go under their own steam!!
Hope that helps