Backing under own power

From: (Tony D. Lowe)
Organization: University of Louisville
Date:         27 May 93 11:23:23 PDT
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Something I've always wondered.  Are jet aircraft able to back up under
their own power?  I've often heard rumor that they can, but usually don't
because of visibility problems, etc.  I know at UPS, we always use tugs to
back our aircraft.

About a year and a half ago, my wife and I were flying on an MD-80, and as
we were backing away from the terminal, there was a distinct revving to the
engines as we began to move.  Marshallers could be seen at the wing tips
directing the aircraft back.  But the biggest thing that gave me the
impression that bird was backing under its own power was how quickly we
began to move forward again -- 10 to 20 seconds at most; the tugs we use at
UPS sometimes require several minutes to disconnect.  There was no sign of a
tug of any sort moving away afterward.

So, did it back up by itself or not?

  Tony D. Lowe, The HapMaster  BITNET:   tdlowe01@ulkyvx.bitnet
  University of Louisville     INTERNET:
       "People without a sense of humor don't have any sense at all."