Pilot's Braking Options

Date:         29 Jun 98 02:38:24 
From:         cp@panix.com (Charles Platt)
Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and UNIX, NYC
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I have the impression that on some landings, a pilot may apply a whole lot
of braking force in order to slow down enough to take an earlier turnout
from the runway. A couple of times, coming into Newark on Continental (an
airport/airline combination that I have become very familiar with, over
the years) I've felt the brakes go on very hard, and we _just_ make it
into a turnout that probably brings us back to the terminal a minute or
two more quickly than if we slowed more gently and proceeded farther down
the runway before turning off it--which is what normally happens. More
recently, into Phoenix in a 737 on AmericaWest, the braking was the
hardest I can remember, AND the thrust reversers were used extensively,
right up till the last possible moment when the aircraft turned off the
runway. (This was not because we were near the end of the runway; we were
barely past the halfway mark.)

Is this all just a figment of my imagination, or are some pilots sometimes
in the habit of using heavy braking to avoid a more lengthy route from the
runway to the gate?