DID YOU KNOW HOW PILOTS FOLLOW THE LINES ON THE GROUND?

Did You Know How Pilots Follow the Lines On the Ground?

2019-09-13

You have got on board and with the rest of the passengers are waiting for take-off. The aircraft starts rolling on the taxiway. Therefore, have you ever wondered how pilots manage to follow the lines covering a taxiway at an airport?

Safe and coordinated movement of the aircraft is important and there are different tools as well as methods helping pilots to navigate on the taxiway. Firstly, there is a specific marking on the ground. There is a yellow line marking the middle of the taxiway – pilots always hold the aircraft nose wheel on this line. They use the same method as the car drivers who keep staying centered in the line of the road – pilots see the taxiway markings ahead of them and can infer where they are under the aircraft. It is all about knowing the aircraft and where these markings should be relative to cues pilots have in the aircraft to keep it on the centerline.

Some aircraft, like the Airbus A350, A380 or Boeing 777, have cameras mounted on or near the nose gear that can provide video to the cockpit. This camera called Ground Maneuvering Camera System (GMCS) enables pilots to taxi more precisely.

When taxiing, aircraft moves slowly to reduce the risk of a nose wheel damage. Slow speed also ensures a quick stop if necessary. Taxi speed is usually from 10 to 20 knots (18–37km/h) and it normally does not increase with taxi length. Some planes and operators have maximum taxi speeds posted.

We use cookies and other similar technologies to help provide our Services, to advertise to you and to analyse how you use our Services and whether advertisements are being viewed. We also allow third parties to use tracking technologies for similar purposes. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. To learn more, Read More.

Necessary Cookies

Always enabled

These cookies are necessary for our website to function properly and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms or where they’re essential to provide you with a service you have requested. You cannot opt-out of these cookies. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but if you do, some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
Performance Cookies
These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site, which helps us optimize your experience. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not be able to use your data in this way.
Targeting Cookies
These cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.
Save & Accept