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Tugs pulling FedEx planes into parking positions

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Tugs pulling FedEx planes into parking positions

Old 29th Mar 2019, 07:02
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Tugs pulling FedEx planes into parking positions

I was watching this video on YouTube:
youtu.be/JZ41PAFe1Bw
(Sorry it's not clickable, but the forum won't let me post links until I have 10 posts, and it still thinks I only have one.)

I couldn't help noticing that the planes actually stop on the central "lane" and then tugs pull them into service positions. Why do they do that? I've never seen anything like that ever before, including with FedEx planes. Usually the plane taxis all the way into a parking position unless it was pulled from MTX or parking. Does anyone know?
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Old 29th Mar 2019, 12:02
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I think that is an easy one to answer.. An airplane generally needs more power selected to do a tight turn. That Jet-Blast would cause havoc with the loading operations behind the aircraft as it turns. So it's engines to cut-off and use a tug...

youtu.be/JZ41PAFe1Bw
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Old 30th Mar 2019, 04:45
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This is standard practice in places like LAX where the design of the cul-de-sac's is so narrow that, as stated above, being towed onto the stand prevents any possibility of causing damage with your jet blast as you turn into your gate. It's a pain because as soon as the engines shutdown all the passengers unstrap unless you have warned them in advance of the procedure.
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Old 30th Mar 2019, 14:10
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As an aside, many years ago a number of northwest aircraft used reverse thrust to back out of a gate, eliminating the need for a tug - certainly at Minneapolis when I was there in 1986. I think that this was only feasible with relatively low by-pass ratio engines such as JT8Ds used, on DC9 and 727s). It saved manpower costs but could result in higher maintenance costs and the introduction of higher by-pass ratio engines with the A319/320s and I suspect health & safety lead to the ending of the practise.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 09:15
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Fly3 View Post
This is standard practice in places like LAX where the design of the cul-de-sac's is so narrow that, as stated above, being towed onto the stand prevents any possibility of causing damage with your jet blast as you turn into your gate. It's a pain because as soon as the engines shutdown all the passengers unstrap unless you have warned them in advance of the procedure.
Many thanks for explaining it thus. I have been SLF into LAX many times on QF and this has happened a lot. Crew have often pre-warned us, but have never explained the "Why". Maybe even they did not know ;-)

FN
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 16:34
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LGA also has tight alleyways. Last time I rode in there as pax, the crew gave the usual warning about early engine shutdown and a tow - but when the time came, they just powered into the gate normally.

It was 1) a zero-dark-30 arrival (red-eye), 2) a gate right at the tip of the terminal arm, and thus 3) the "turn-in" took place out well out near the parallel twy to 13/31. I'm guessing that (2) was the determining factor - the jet blast never pointed anywhere except at open grass and concrete, with no parked aircraft. The crew warning may have just been out of habit.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 17:32
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As I remember taxiing into some gates at LAX we could taxi in at idle but were not allowed to add power. If you ever stopped you needed a tug.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 18:35
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SFO has some tight cul-de-sacs, too.

An Aer Lingus A330 lost a winglet about a year ago when it hit a wall while being towed onto stand there.
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 12:12
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Could it be a noise reason? Aircraft landing very early at LHR T4 (< 6am?) have to wait for a tug rather than taxi under their own power. Happened to me (SLF) several times inbound from Abu Dhabi on B767.
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 07:11
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Originally Posted by tow1709 View Post
Could it be a noise reason? Aircraft landing very early at LHR T4 (< 6am?) have to wait for a tug rather than taxi under their own power. Happened to me (SLF) several times inbound from Abu Dhabi on B767.
It sometimes can be due noise controls, and certainly some but not all of the LHR T4 stands are (or at least used to be) "tow on" during curfew hours due to the proximity of some stands to the south perimeter road.

OTOH most places if it's a "tow on" as others have said it's done when the parking is "tight", to avoid jet blast and/or supposedly reduce the chances of clipping a wing tip...
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 07:14
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Every time I flew on a LH 747 to JFK, we always stopped on the taxiway and were towed to gate. Every single time.
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 09:40
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Re SMT comment-I agree- a pretty frequent occurence I recall the BA terminal has at least two very tight gates and manoeuvring on to them might require a bit too much push from the engines to safely manoeuvre and I also think there are issues at times when most of the gates are occupied . I think that 'across the road' at JFK in the AA terminal there are a couple of very tight stands and 757s had to be pulled on to the gate and after push back pulled a long way forward
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 12:47
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As a topic starter I'd like to thank everyone who replied to my question. I didn't even think about jet-blast. Thank you.
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