Airlines Airports Aviation News

What is and What Happens During Aircraft Pushback?

Frequent travellers certainly know what pushback is however there is so much going on in this phase that even they might not know all that is happening. Let’s go over what pushback is and what happens in this phase of any plane’s journey.

What is Pushback

As the word let’s transpire it is the phase of an aircraft’s journey when it is pushed back from its stand. Many operations take place while the plane is positioned to start taxiing. At the end of the pushback the plane is positioned so that it can start taxiing towards the runway.

Plane Pushback with raised front gear

When does it Happen?

When all passengers are on board and boarding operations are complete, the doors are closed and the jetway retracted. This is when the aircraft makes all final preparations for flight and gets pushed back.

Plane Pushback using a rod

How Does The Tug Work?

The tug is that funny looking truck that is used to push or move planes in the airport. Two different types of tug exist:

  • Those that lift the plane’s nose gear and then push the aircraft.
  • Others that connect to the plane’s nose gear using a rod and then push the aircraft backwards.

Both tugs are will push the plane out of its stand and onto the taxiway ready to start making its way towards the active takeoff runway.

Plane departing an airport

What Happens During Pushback?

As said above, there is so much going on in this phase, both inside and outside the plane although it might not seem so. Inside the plane the captain will call the cabin crew to arm all slides and crosscheck. This means the slides will automatically deploy if the doors are opened in the event of an emergency.

Also during the aircraft push away from its stand the flight crew will start up the engines. With the engines on the aircraft will finally be self sufficient in terms of electricity and hydraulic and pneumatic pressure.

This means that the flight surfaces can now be activated and moved. This is the moment when the pilots will test that all flight sufaces are working correctly.

Outside of the plane, the dispatcher will be in constant contact with both tug operator and pilots. He will supervise the pushback operations and ensure all safety standards are followed. At the end of the pushback it is his responsibility to remove the nose gear down lock pin and show it to the flight crew. Only after this operation the aircraft will be cleared to start taxiing.

About the author

Alex Achille

Ex Cabin Crew with Emirates, I've always loved travelling and other cultures. In this website I'll be sharing my experiences along with my reviews of the latest Korean Dramas and TV Series I've watched.

Support My Work Sign Up to The Newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

Make sure to accept my privacy policy. Your privacy is my priority!*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.