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Sat, Mar 07, 2009

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (03.07.09): Pushback


Aero-Terms are designed to be a daily reminder of the terms, names, acronyms and explanations of the unique language that populates the aviation world. Aerospace, sport aviation, fixed wing, helo, you name it... it's all fair game.

Aero-Terms should serve as a quick but intriguing reminder of the terms you may use every day, or an introduction to an aspects of the Aero-World you may not yet be familiar with. ANN also encourages readers to go beyond the FMI link, and further research any intriguing terms.

Suggestions for future Aero-Terms are ALWAYS welcome, as are additions or discussion of the explanations given for each Aero-Term.


An airport procedure during which an aircraft is pushed backwards away from an airport gate by external power, when there isn't enough room for the aircraft to turn around under its own power (which requires some degree of forward motion). Pushbacks are carried out by special, low-profile vehicles called pushback tractors or tugs. Although many aircraft can also move backwards on the ground using reverse thrust (a procedure referred to as a powerback), the resulting jet blast or prop wash may cause damage to the terminal building or equipment. Engines close to the ground may also blow sand and debris forward and then suck it in to the engine, causing damage to the engine.



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