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Climbing into a 747 through the Nose Wheel

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Climbing into a 747 through the Nose Wheel

Old 26th Nov 2002, 23:20
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Climbing into a 747 through the Nose Wheel


Just saw the following picture at airliners.net and the note which says, " Take a close look a the engineers. Yes there are two of them, one is waiting for his turn to climb up the nose-wheel and into the aircraft. When the Chinese emperor embarks on his flights he bring a team of engineers, who supervise the start-up procedure after which they board the aircraft in this rather unconventional."

Of course my first question is : WHY?

Subsequently, where do you end up climbing through the nose gear? Anyone - been there - done that - (I mean climbing!)
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 23:33
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If there is no stairway available to the normal passenger doors, you can get up to the main deck through the E&E (avionics) compartment just behind the nosewheels.

Maybe they don't trust the ground handlers to wheel away the stairs...
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 00:28
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I think you can do this on the 146/RJ too and I am sure you can in the L1011 - I seem to remember a story about a Cathay Capt. who got stuck in traffic when his wife, (who was accompanying him on a trip and had left for the airport early) was aboard the aircraft that he was supposed to be flying, and was taxying out with the standby Capt. When he got to the airport he got them to stop, managed to persuade someone to drive out to the A/C and scrambled up, bursting purple-faced into the flight-deck. I believe he was known as 'Pop-up Pete' forever after!
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 01:34
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The only aircraft that I know of, where you can get in via the nose gear bay, is the DC-10.
If you are not too fat, that is.
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 01:39
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Dont forget the B-25 Mitchell.
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 04:45
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A300-605R can do it too
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 05:44
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Also routinely done on the DHC 5 Buffallo when the thing was filled to overflowing in Southern Sudan, although the access was a hinged door just aft of the nose gear.

When one wasn't correctly closed one day, it gave an almighty bang when it popped out. I heard that it was found by some Dinka a few weeks later.
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 09:19
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I wasn't aware that the Chinese even have an emperor....
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 21:21
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Had a look at your link and what strikes me is that the two gentlemen in the picture are certainly doing their climbing the hard way. The 747 E/E bay has a perfectly good ladder that will extend to ground level through the access hatch behind the nose landing gear. Once you are in you can pull the ladder up behind you and close the hatch. There is then a further ladder to climb up into the passenger cabin.
The DC10 and L1011 both have E/E bays below the flight deck that can be accessed from both outside and through the flight deck floor. However unlike the 747 they don't have ladders fitted as standard that will extend to the ground. Access is still possible but only with mobile steps that have to be removed by ground staff once you are inside.
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 22:25
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On the DC-10 you just crawl into the nose-gear wheel-well, walk forward on the doors to the acces hatch. And voila, you are in the avionics compartment. No steps or ladders required.
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Old 28th Nov 2002, 06:35
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we can do that on our b777-200 too. it happenned to me once when i had to ferry one of our b777 to the maintenance hanger at a close-by airfield. when we got there, there wasn't any steps for us so with some help from the engineers we descended into the E&E bay (which is assessable with a hatch from the cabin) then from there another hatch to the outside. the trick is to get from the acft onto the ground. the hatch to the ground is a good 7-8 feet!! good thing the engineers had a maintenance step which we can use.

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Old 28th Nov 2002, 09:12
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While the photo may appear to show these chaps doing things the hard way, they are , in fact, doing it the Boeing design way. The 47 is designed to be operable without any ground support and, therefore needs to be accessible from the ground after being secured for the night - i.e. NO ladders left extended. To allow for this, there is a grab handle built into the rear of the nose-leg which, together with a leg stretch onto the tyre, allows one to 'pop' the hatch release and open the lower 41 access hatch. Once open it is fairly easy to grab the edges of the hatch and lift oneself through without having to lower the ladder. Until this time last year, I used to perform this regularly as a 'demo' for the walkround introduction for new pilots ....... and my shoulder muscles have almost recovered.
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Old 28th Nov 2002, 10:27
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Baron 58 wrote:
Dont forget the B-25 Mitchell.
Actually I think you mean the B-24 Liberator as on a Mitchell there's no way to get up into the plane through the nose wheel well. The forward access hatch is situated a bit behind the nose wheel so perhaps you're getting those confused.

The B-24 Liberator doesn't really have a nose gear bay, so you can get up through the opening and end up in the crawlway between the nose and the area behind the cockpit.
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Old 29th Nov 2002, 07:45
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B767 access thru e/e bay into the cabin possible, mind you do it at the wrong time and you'll either get a great veiw when you open the cabin hatch as the C/Crew pass over it or you'll find one of them sitting astride your head as you both pass back out of the lower hatch.
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Old 29th Nov 2002, 10:42
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No-one going to admit having watched 'Executive Decision'?
I know it wasn't the nosewheel gear bay, but it was close!
This storyboard may jog your memory - an added clue is the stealth and about 5 pax sitting behind the pilot.
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Old 29th Nov 2002, 11:22
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You can do this on lots of aircraft.

As has been stated, you can go through the E&E bay on the B747 just behind the NLG (awful stretch though!), same-same for the BAe146/RJ where it is on the lower stbd side and enters the flight deck. It was the standard way in and out when at an outport with no engineering support, and I've once heard of a couple of undisciplined wags ordering a coffee from the F/A's, and hiding out there with the acft on AP.......

My Dad was on P2 Neptunes, and the normal way in was through the nosewheel well, there was a narrow catwalk on the port side (And the normal way to his station near the stbd trailing edge was a crawlway over the wing spar). Apparently it was pretty breezy on the flight deck with the gear down.

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