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Aircraft Towing Procedures

Towing is a process of moving an aircraft from one place to another without the engine power running. The person in charge to the towing procedure should first, refer to aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) Chapter 9 before carry out the process. The person involved in towing process are LAE, Ground crew on headset, cockpit crew & auxiliary crew.

The are procedures to be followed prior to tow the aircraft. Firstly, one man must be in the cockpit for the operation of the brakes of the aircraft. Next, all doors of the aircraft must be closed & locked up. After that, the undercarriage pins must be installed. Then, check the tyre pressure and make sure it is in good and correct readings. The following step is to connect the correct tow bar with the shear pin installed. Remember, one man must be overall in charge of the towing operation and be able to communicate with the man in the cockpit.

Start the APU and make sure there is sufficient hydraulic pressure for the brakes operation. When all of these procedures are done, the man in the cockpit must obtain clearance from the control tower. Next, switch on the anti-collision light and navigation lights.

During towing operation, ensure there is one man at each wing tip. The aircraft must be tow slowly and not exceed 5mph / 8kmh to reduce shock loading on tow bar and shear pins. Remember, the man in the cockpit must be alert at all times and ready to apply the aircraft brakes when commanded.

After the towing operation has been carried out, the aircraft must be tow the last 10 feet in straight line to release tyre stresses. After that, the aircraft must be parked in a correct position. Then, insert chocks and reset the nose steering wheel. Last but not least, switch off APU, anti-collision and navigation lights.

All safety precaution & procedures must be followed in order to avoid any accidents from happening. Remember to refer to the AMM Chapter 9 and company procedure or ask the authorised personnel if there is any doubt due to the towing process.


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