Taxiing Nosewheel Type Airplanes Taxiing - Nosewheel Type Airplanes

   Taxiing is somewhat simplified in an airplane equipped with a nosewheel. The good visibility and steerable nosewheel provide excellent ground handling characteristics. On this type airplane, the nosewheel usually is connected to the rudder pedals by a mechanical linkage and is steerable approximately 18 degrees on either side of neutral. If the pilot desires to make a turn sharper than can be obtained with rudder pedal alone, brake pressure may be applied to decrease the radius of turn. However, since most nosewheels are not free swiveling, the radius of turn which can be obtained by the use of brake is limited. This may make it virtually impossible to pivot the airplane on one wheel. Consequently, the pilot will find it necessary to adequately plan the taxi path and anticipate all necessary turns.

   Although taxiing with a steerable nosewheel requires less special pilot technique than required with a tailwheel, the habitual observance of all safety precautions is necessary. In spite of the good visibility and ground maneuvering provided by nosewheel airplanes, it is generally poor technique to use excessively high power settings, to taxi at high speeds, or to control the direction and taxi speed with only the brakes.

   In starting to taxi a nosewheel airplane, the airplane should always be allowed to roll forward slowly to allow the nosewheel to become aligned straight ahead to avoid turning into an adjacent airplane or nearby obstruction. This also prevents side stress that would be imposed on the wheel assembly and strut if an attempt were made to force the airplane straight forward while the nosewheel is turned to one side.

   Normally all turns should be started using the rudder pedal steering of the nosewheel. To tighten the turn after full pedal deflection is reached, brake may be applied as needed on the inside of the turn. When stopping the airplane, it is advisable to always stop with the nosewheel straight to relieve any strain on the nose gear and to make it easier to start moving ahead.

   During crosswind taxiing, even the nosewheel type airplane has some tendency to weathervane. However, the weathervaning tendency is less than in tailwheel type airplanes because the main wheels are located further aft and the nosewheel's ground friction helps to resist the tendency. The nosewheel linkage from the rudder pedals provides adequate steering control for safe and efficient ground handling and normally only rudder pressure is necessary to correct for a crosswind.

   Caution is particularly required when taxiing nosewheel equipped airplanes of the high wing type, in strong quartering tailwinds. Because of the characteristic short coupling of the landing gear arrangement and the susceptibility of the tail and upwind wing to being lifted by the wind, a quartering tailwind can cause the high wing airplane to flip over on its back. To prevent this when taxiing with a strong quartering tailwind, the elevator should be held in the down position (elevator control forward) and the aileron on the upwind side should be held in the down position (aileron control in the direction opposite that from which the wind is blowing). Furthermore, sudden bursts of power and sudden braking should be avoided whenever taxiing in these conditions.