View Full Version : Virgin-Your taxi speeds are a JOKE!

1st Dec 2002, 23:59
What is going on with Virgin Blue crews? Now I remember my ab-initio instructor saying "taxi at fast walking pace" BUT PLEASE! 737 pilots, this does not include you!!!!

The other day there was a line longer than the berlin wall waiting to depart 01 at BN. What's this, I thought; NO ONE IS ON THE APPROACH, MUST BE A VIRGIN AT THE FRONT OF THE LINE.

Alas, it was. So now it seems, not only are we delayed in the air when following a virgin (although it's not so bad now) we are hideously delayed on the ground!

Somebody enlighten us to the SOPs regarding taxi speeds at virgin.


2nd Dec 2002, 01:03
come on Bronte, give the boys a break.... There's a chance the captains probably only got 700 hours flying jets and the fo's probably only got 700 hours total (he must know raby). They're just finding their feet.

(ex dispute guys with a billion hours excluded.)

Kaptin M
2nd Dec 2002, 01:03
Although I'm not a VB employee, I have to respond to your post, Bronte.

In the first instance who are YOU to tell other pilots that they are taxi-ing too SLOWLY. There are no minimum taxi speeds, only MAXIMUM specified in Ops manuals,
Why compromise SAFETY by taxi-ing at close to V1 speeeds?

Secondly your comment, "The other day there was a line longer than the berlin wall waiting to depart 01 at BN. What's this, I thought; NO ONE IS ON THE APPROACH, MUST BE A VIRGIN AT THE FRONT OF THE LINE." bears no relevance to taxi speeds.
In case you're unaware (are you a professional pilot, btw?), ATC dictate take-off clearances, which is what the first aircraft (regardless of the company) would have been awaiting.
Perhaps on the other hand they had something that was delaying their departure.

Oh really?? And how much time do you THINK you save by taxi-ing at (say) 40 knots, instead of 15-20, only to arrive at the take-off point and ATC don't have a take-off clearance due flow control...or whatever.

Do you, Bronte also recommend flying at Vmo, delaying gear extension until 1,000' or lower, and using max braking - for the "sake of productivity"?

You sound to me, like an accident looking for somewhere to happen!!

eisle s
2nd Dec 2002, 01:23
"THE OTHER DAY THERE WAS A LINE AS LONG AS THE BERLIN WALL WAITING TO DEPART 01 AT BN" , as viewed from the public observation area with your bino's and scanner hey Bronte. You sound like such an private pilot.:rolleyes:

Kaptin M
2nd Dec 2002, 02:25
"flow control" is the sequencing of aircraft allocated by ATC to try to avoid congestion and to (try to) maintain a smooth flow of arriving and departing aircraft.

Aircraft operating into high traffic density airports such as many capital cities eg. Sydney, are often allocated a slot time, ie. a take-off time based on the flight planned time to give an arrival time at the destination that SHOULD involve minimum delay.
Hence, in this instance, had VB been operating on a slot time (which may also be based on the number of aircraft in certain airspace at the same time) and arrived at the take-off point a couple of minutes early, ATC may have been witholding T/O clearance.

It's also possible that because of OTHER aircraft interrupting the flow, VB was again held (through no fault of THEIRS) to allow ATC to sort things out.
Hope that helps.

Home Brew
2nd Dec 2002, 02:34
Hey Bronte, most operators and aircraft actually have speed restrictions for taxying in a straight line, and while cornering, depending on the surface conditions being dry, wet or icy. Maximum is 30kts on the 737 down to 4kts while cornering on an icy surface.

Now for passenger comfort, its not good sense to give a handful of power to reach max taxy speed, only to slam on the brakes to skid sideways around the corner - tis great for the whip lash!!

By the way Bronte, rwy 01 at vegas intersection A7, how do we know that the delay didn't have something to do with wake turbulance seperation from a heavy using the full length!!

2nd Dec 2002, 02:47
Dont blame the tech crew, they were probably waitng for the flighty's to finish their conga line all dancin' safety brief.;)
QF loser:
Must I remind you of your minnimum reqt's? 500hrs give me a break!(when drawing the comparison to entry requirements)
I wonder if you would be so vocal to Mr Raby's face you spineless mut.
We are all laughing at you boy. Seems to me that "maintaing" you come from a Co. that has a cadet body of a lack of hours...well thats the best ruse I've heard in a long time!!!
This isn't a cadet bash but merely comparing notes to a vocal VB basher.
BTW I'm still waiting for your response on the QF nepotism thread. What's the matter "cat got your tounge?"
I have a nice big leather lounge paypacket take a seat. Lets start with your childhood...........:p

2nd Dec 2002, 03:02
Conversely, I always found Qantas tarmac aggression more of a problem than the odd guy who taxis slow. I thought that the Qantas 747 collapsed landing gear incident in Rome might slow the boys down. No, was taxiing for 19 BNE a few days later at 30kts( IRS Derived ) and to everyones surprise a QF 747 rushes past on the parallel with a massive overtake.


Couple of my mates just got their first command at Virgin Blue. Around 30 yo, approaching ten thousand hours. 70% of their experience on jets, lots of sectors too, not Second Officer time!

And when in glass houses! The bar must have lowered if those new speed restrictions have anything to do with management concern about your abilities to fly an efficient domestic descent profile.

2nd Dec 2002, 03:07
OK, I am not a PPL and don't need everything explained to me as if I'm a retard. As a matter of fact I have over 6000 hours on jets mostly in Australia. (A320, 737)

Might be a bit my fault as I didn't explain the situation too well. This is just ONE situation at ONE airport. It happens everywhere: My whole gripe was about taxiing Virgin aircraft. So, this aircraft WAS NOT at the holding point just sitting there dreaming about the hosties behind them, they were taxiing, AT AN EXTEREMERLEY LOW SPEED. (<10 kts)

This is straight down a smooth, flat, dry, very long taxiway in bright daylight. Very frustrating for the 7 or so a/c "taxiing" behind. (think brakes overheating :eek: )

If I can pick on you, Kaptin M:

PLEASE stop taking everything so seriously you loser!!!! My "productivity" comment was tounge-in-cheek. I thought that was as obvious as dogs [email protected] However, there is some thruth to it.

Kaptin M
2nd Dec 2002, 04:17
Bronte you can "pick on me" as often as you like - as long as you don`t get upset about what you`re given back. :)

6,000 hours on jets, well depending on what you actually LEARNT during the accumulation of them, it MAY carry some weight.
However, your comments on this thread indicate that either you`re a very slow learner as a pilot - or perhaps they were gained as a "trolley dolly". :p

Both of your posts on this thread seem to indicate to me (with 15,000 hours) that you lack situational awareness, and an inability to accept that the VB aircraft with which you have decided to take issue, may very well have had a valid reason(s) for electing to taxi at that speed.

But don`t dig too deeply (although I doubt that you could be bothered anyway), in case you LEARN something.

Oh, I forgot ~ YOU`VE got over 6,000 hours on jets!! :eek:

Tool Time Two
2nd Dec 2002, 04:36
Probably CitizenXXXXXXX by another name and another career change. Either way associated too long with scabs:cool:

2nd Dec 2002, 06:26
Gnadenburg, you are showing your TOTAL ignorance of the circumstances surrounding the Rome incident by implying that high taxi speeds had something to do with the gear strut failing.

2nd Dec 2002, 06:27
Point one:- TTT This thread has NOTHING to do with `89 so WHY THE HELL would you HAVE to attempt to hijack it!!

Point two:- I have no experience on the NGs but the Boeing reccommended max Taxi speed for the EFIS generation 737 was 20 kts. It was observed by AN and ignored by TN/QF. I don`t know if VB observe it, but a better phrased question like "Does DJ have a taxi speed limit" rather than "Pull your finger out" might have been appropriate from a professtional.

Wiz (9000hrs on jets and STILL know F-all!)

2nd Dec 2002, 08:42
A few weeks back it was their uniforms and now people are having a go at their taxi speeds, what's next?
In the last 6 months people seem to be trying hard to have a dig at VB, get over it, they are here to stay.
In the 36 seat aircaft I fly my main concern is passenger safety and comfort, not taxi speed.

2nd Dec 2002, 09:11
laydown in point of fact, the 737, 727 & 747 do have a stress component on the main gear struts (wing gear in 747) at high AUW's and high taxi speeds. Normally over uneven taxi surface, but is still a consideration.

Wizofoz - why must you always rise to the bait? IGNORE !

Keep the faith:]

Sperm Bank
2nd Dec 2002, 09:46
8 kts on tarmac, 12 kts around corners and 20 kts (Boeing policy) in a straight line. Boeing also says that on extended straight taxy ways 30 kts in acceptable. (Not Virgin policy however).

Why stampede for a delay at the holding point? So what if there were seven a/c behind him. It probably cost less than a minute out of their day. If you know anything about airline flying Bronte you would know that rushing is generally an exception rather than the rule.

If some pilots taxy slower than normal good luck to them. It's safe and manageable. Find something of genuine concern to whinge about mate or better still, contribute an intellectual topic for discussion!

2nd Dec 2002, 10:17
One further point I would like to add.
Good on 'em.
If they are erring for safety it's one less thing they will have to justify to management if something goes pear shaped.
I could see it now.
Ok Capt so just before we kick it off would you please explain why you were first of all taxiing at 35kts?
Capt: For the company?to save money
Management:Is that right. Have you read the section in the op's manual in regard to safety?
Capt:Yes but......well there are these VB basher's on Pprune that say we taxi too slow.
Management:OH! I'm sorry to have wasted your time, It's back on to line for you with our total apology.:rolleyes:

2nd Dec 2002, 11:31
Things are not so happy at VB over the proposed (or lack of) a new contract - could this be a "go slow"?

Le Pilot
2nd Dec 2002, 14:51
Over here there are QARs for everything... If you bust 25kts in a straight line or 15 in a turn..You make the company website!
When the limit is 25, most blokes are terrified of passing 20kts, just in case the taxyway suddenly slopes forward!

Maybe if QF/VJ/VQ etc had QARs they might think twice about the Highspeed passes on the outer taxyway..

Anyway the blokes who taxy at 5kts.... maybe they need the hours??

2nd Dec 2002, 19:58
There is nothing worse than a cowboy up front. If VB choose to maintain a safe steady speed during groundops, it shows a mature approach to safety and comfort unlike some of the comments here on the subject. On the big aircraft I have flown, taxing fast causes a significant increases in brake temperatures (and tyre temperatures) which you may regret in a rejected T/O at high weight. :cool:

2nd Dec 2002, 21:08

My reference to Rome best summed up by " You are braver man than I Gunga Din".

In this instance, best described as tarmac aggression, a QF 747 was doing significantly greater than 30kts. I did not question the crews airmanship, just felt in light of Rome that the common QF practice of aggressive tarmac jockying may subside.

Not sure if the following QF tarmac aggression incident urban myth but feel free to shoot me down. Ansett flight management was aware of the practice, and we were unofficially warned that any Le Mans style, airport racing with QF aircraft would be frowned upon. Anyway, Chief Pilot taxies for Melbourne 34 and out nowhere comes a QF Boeing. Whistled past on the parallel taxiway but in his ensueing scramble, forgot to set his flaps for take-off and aborted early in the roll!

Back to our slow taxiing friend at VB. I think I would prefer to be in his aircraft than a QF aircraft hell bent on beating everyone to the holding point!

2nd Dec 2002, 21:49
Imagine what it would be like at a lot of airports in the U.S. where you've got GA traffic like Cessna 172's taxiing around as well....

I fly out of a Class B where in winter the winds switch around occasionally to that 1/10th of the time that the heavies have to trundle over past the GA side of the airport. It's always a real-eyeopener for pax :eek: when you're taking a friend out for a joy flight in something like a 172 and when you're doing your runup, a JAL 747 trundles past with 4 engines spooling ;) I came in last Thursday and was sitting behind a 172 waiting to make a call to ground and had a 767 right behind me.

Col. Walter E. Kurtz
2nd Dec 2002, 23:04
Bitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanBitch & MoanThank God that Virgin didn't go the way of Impulse. That would leave no one for ye high priests of the cockpit to bag out. Honestly, get a life.

Kaptin M
3rd Dec 2002, 02:27
And no doubt, Bronte, you took the delay into account, and delayed YOUR engine start and push-back. :)

Clearance Clarance
3rd Dec 2002, 02:41
Bronte's profile explains his aggression towards DJ.

A320 FO!!

So when did you miss out on DJ Bronte?? (I know you will deny this, perhaps your right)

Did you feel you "deserved" a job at DJ because of your 6000hrs on jets? (is that all?)

There's lots of guys with double that waiting for a start with DJ.

Settle down a bit mate, it's not good for your blood pressure!

3rd Dec 2002, 03:09

Silly post, but as a former A320 F/O, I will reply.

Virgin Blue does not interview many ex AN A320 pilots. For whatever reason, their perrogitive respected. Maybe a few made Kluxes of themselves on interview, maybe they think they will run off to the first lucrative A320 job offer abroad.

I understand a number of exAN A320 pilots now have their commands at Virgin.

I here Virgin happy with their exAnsett pilots too.

But some from jet background abroad are as bigger whingers at Virgin as they were at ......

Perrogitives change, hope your not from that big airline that turns out all those whingers!

3rd Dec 2002, 16:20
col walter.e.kurtz

well put buddy keep up the good posts. these guys turn a comment in to such a bitch and **** fight. pprune is becoming such place for a few to vent their pissy views because they have no mates to go to the pub and argue with. wa$%ers.

got to


Selandia Baru
3rd Dec 2002, 19:41
Yup this one is nearly getting as good as Jerry Springer.

3rd Dec 2002, 21:13
I've got to admit, this post was a semi-wind up and I'm quite happy with its progress! But my god, it seems I share the skies (and taxiways) with a bunch of cautious old grandmas! Jets such as the 737 are designed to, and should be, taxied at a safe and NORMAL (sorry-couldn't think of a better word) speed.

On the serious side, I was hoping to get a response from some virgins, it seems that none of them want to answer the question. Maybe they are restriced by the company to crawl around delaying everyone eles, I don't know.

Clarance, no I have not applied to DJ. I will not work for that kind of money, after FreedomAir, they are the lowest paid 737 pilots in existance. I'm better than that.

Merry Xmas to all. (even to the kiwis :cool: )

4th Dec 2002, 00:02
If you are "better" than that, why do you waste time posting semi-wind-up's? Dont you have anything "better" to do?:confused:

4th Dec 2002, 00:24
Whats the rush? Slow is best. Girls have time to get ready, pax have a smooth ride and we have more time to "prepare" in the flight deck. And at the end of the day, you dont make up any time taxying fast, but if you are going too fast (our SOP 25kt max) and hit something, well please kindly explain;)

4th Dec 2002, 02:34

My considerations when taxiing a B737 around are:

1. Safety;
2. Comfort;
3. SOPs & Boeing Specifications; and
4. Efficiency.

Safety is a fairly obvious one.

Comfort means that of the crew and passengers.

Item 3 refers to those requirements laid down in the ops manual and FCTM about cornering, straight taxiing, etc.

Efficiency is a lot more subjective. I consider how far to the holding point, how far through the safety brief the cabin crew are, the volume of traffic in front (whether airborne or taxiing), our own flightdeck procedures, ATC instructions, and the route by which we need to go. I would rather not let the aircraft come to a complete stop as it means setting the brake and then a good fistful of power to get going again.
I also try to consider the other traffic taxiing around the airport with us. While I don't intentionally try to impede other users, their taxy speeds behind me are not my priority. By considering other traffic, I mean not obstructing intersections, allowing space for other users around us, turning off taxi lights when pointing at the other aircrafts flightdeck, etc.

If you're suggesting a lack of professional courtesy or situational awareness or just rudeness, you're mistaken.

4th Dec 2002, 03:13
Being a Metro driver I am always delayed by jets. Do I get upset? Don't think so! If you can't handle it, quit....I'll have your job.

5th Dec 2002, 21:26

Your wealth of experience is obvious. Thankyou for your thoughtful and useful contribution.

5th Dec 2002, 22:31

Thankyou for your thoughtful and useful contribution.

Courteous as ever!

Kaptin M
6th Dec 2002, 00:32
Think you're doing the "right thing" by taxi-ing fast? Read the following (abbreviated) report:

On August 29, 2000, Japan Airlines (JAL) flight JL791, a Boeing 747-200B, Japanese registration JA8161, landed at Shangai PuDong International Airport, Shanghai P.R.C. at 11:50 (Beijing local time) having departed from Narita International Airport, at 09:20. The airplane's righthand wingtip hit the floodlight post at 11:53 at parking lot 208 during taxi-ing to the gate 19 after landing. The righthand wingtip was broken and cut off. No injuries were reported.

The Crew Factors
The pilot who conducted the taxi didn't observe the obstacle around and the marks on ground during his taxi-ing to the gate, while the other crew members also didn't have a good sense of situational awareness.

There is no guidance line from parking lot 208 to gate 19. The crew should stop immediately if there is no guidance line which could have been followed when the aircraft approached the parking lot 208, but he continued his taxi-ing blindly and turned left, which caused the airplane wing tip to hit the floodlight post.

The taxi speed at turning of the airplane at the time of hitting, exceeded the Boeing operation standard for the taxi speed of less than 10 knots. The actual taxi speed at turning of the airplane was 11 knots

Moving right to the end of the report.

The Airport Factor
The airport authority didn't provide the information of the additional guidance line in the appropriate aeronautical information publication or to the air traffic service unit after the marks had been painted on the apron.

The investigative team determined that the aircraft accident was caused by the crew human error.

Safety Recommendation
The pilots of JAL shall enforce their pre-flight preparation. JAL shall enforce the CRM and situational awareness trainess.

The Shanghai PuDong International Airport shall repaint and renumber the taxiway for the convenience of the ATC instruction and crew taxi-ing, box all the parking lot numbers on the apron with black frame for easier identification.

The Shanghai PuDong International Airport shall paint new guidance lines to each parking lot and clean all the former guidance lines leading to parking lots 201 through 211.
The airport authority shall provide the information concerning any instructions of marking changes on the apron to the relevant units.

The Shanghai PuDong International Airport shall remove all the floodlight posts along the parking lots 201 through211.

As you see, the REAL cause of the above accident was lack of/incorrect taxi line markings, and the lights being located too closely to the taxi-way. However, as usual, the crew cop the blame.

Sperm Bank
6th Dec 2002, 07:58
Careful M. Our learned friend would surely not comprehend a post amounting to factual common sense and rule abrogation. He's got 6000 hrs on jets so there is nothing we can tell him that will amount to any further aversion of his distorted veiws.

He has cleverly wound this thing up from nothing. Virgin taxy speeds are as normal as they are anywhere else in the world. However our learned friend having not worked in other countries has a minimalist , blinkered appreciation of the big picture. He obviously has not got a clue what he is talking about, but the trick is not to get lured by his vacuous comments.

Fellow EMPLOYED collegues, try not to let this (out of work for obvious reasons) clown impact on your better judgement. He will never fly your brand new a/c and this is obviously a festering cyst under the skin of rationale. He'll get over it one day.

6th Dec 2002, 11:23

Spade=Spade, Shovel=Shovel. Don't get the two confused.:)

7th Dec 2002, 04:02
I agree as slow as old farts in a thunderstorm pointing backwards!

7th Dec 2002, 11:26
You guys would absolutly dread taxiing behind me! 15 Kts taxi and i lose tail wheel authority! 20 Kts, (with 50% power) and the tail is off the ground!! so i chugg along at 10Tks max.

really annoys the guys at YSBK. espcially in an Ultralight as well.

7th Dec 2002, 19:53
I think the wind up excuse is just an attempt at backing out of a debate once you have made a fool of yourself.

7th Dec 2002, 20:51
Even though I work for the Rat, I can't say that I've noticed any Virgin taxi faster or slower than what is normal.
Having defended the opposition I'd better have a lie down as I can't be feeling well!!!;)

7th Dec 2002, 21:13
I've read alot on this topic as well as excellent factual/technical contributions which leads me to believe that the "fast walking pace" you speak of Bronte is purely a GA thing.
It only typically relates to a single/twin engine piston with props that hang as close to the ground as the stubbies of a football yobbo below his arse crack! (or cricket Yobbo in the case of L-Gold!).

Probably the longest distance in Oz to taxi is about 2 nm (Runway 34L/R in Sydney).
Taxying at 20 kts ( a respectable speed for a jet) will take about 6-8 mins (including turns/average stops/waits etc).

Kaptin M and Snowballs spoke of incidents related to high taxi speeds and the danger of adverse torsional (sideways) loads applied to landing gears when you taxi too fast around a corner.
Sit up there on a 747 and listen to the noise of the nosewheel when turning through a 90 degree taxiway at more than 10 kts groundspeed!
That's just the nosewheel and dont forget the other 4 bogeys (wing and body gears on each side!).

It's uncomfortable for pax,unsafe for the hosties standing up doing safety demo's down the back and downright unprofessional apart from stressing the gears/airframe and heating the brakes unnecessarily!

If a pilot wants to taxi slowly then thats his perogative Bronte.
To call it a joke is over the top and unprofessional in my book.

7th Dec 2002, 22:24
A historical moment here...one for the record books.Kaptin M and ironbutt57 in total agreement!!!!:confused: :) :) :)

Flying Spaniard
8th Dec 2002, 00:01
If a kid of 16 would read the first few posts of this thread he would feel very welcome and at ease because the attitude reflected in these posts are the ones of a teenager fighting over a candy bar or how gets to sit in the front seat of a car.
Sometimes i really wander why people even reply to posts it gets personal all the time and make the forums an unpleasant place to be. stop the bashing, and the "yes it is" and "no it isn't" "if you dont agree you are a ****** and a bad pilot" games.
Please i ask you to be a little more mature in some posts and dont let it get personal!
And before you guys bash me for my numerous grammatical mistakes, learn 5 languages and lets see then how perfect that grammar is then.

8th Dec 2002, 00:17
No problems with your grammar, Zorro!

Towering Q
8th Dec 2002, 23:15
Count yourself lucky to have a Grammar....mine passed away in '83.

9th Dec 2002, 00:21
Maybe that's why QF insist on Physics, math etc.

I'll never forget the lesson taught me by Col Felton all those years ago when as a smarta&se 16 yr old he was attempting to instill some idea of flying and good manners at the hand of the Chipmunk.
Weight and Balance.....4 gallons what's the fuss....it's nothing...
Next time I'm due to fly dear 'ol Mrs Robbie tells me Col is waiting for me in the hangar.
Step through door to be met with "catch this" as full four gallon drum of water is hefted at me. Catch, stagger, fall on backside.
Lesson, drum was only moving as fast as one could heft (not very), consider the consequences at 10, 20 and 50 KTS. KE=mv2

9th Dec 2002, 00:40

Haven't you been flying with Bronte ??;)

eisle s
9th Dec 2002, 04:28
Good point gauty, but I think KE= 1/2mv2:confused: :p

9th Dec 2002, 08:33
eisle s

I'm glad someone is awake.:rolleyes: :cool:

My excuse is that at high enough v's, 'm' becomes relatively insignificant in the overall equation; :D :p