Aircraft Turning

After starting the engines, it’s time to taxi to the runway for takeoff. How is the aircraft turning? Aircraft are turned by nosewheel steering, differential thrust, or brakes; or a combination of all three.

Nosewheel steering is almost used exclusively because it is the easiest, smoothest, and least stressful method for the aircraft. The nosewheel steering is controlled by a small steering wheel to the left of the Captain’s seat. In most aircraft, only the the nosewheel turns; the main wheels, as part of the aircraft landing gear, do not.

Differential power is the use of changing thrust levels in each engine. This method is used rarely (by itself), because it is hard on the engines and on the aircraft, people, and things behind you!

Using differential brakes is also very hard on the brakes but it can be used as a last resort. It also wears the tires down more and can even cause cuts in the tire. If the left brake is pressed down, the aircraft will pivot around that point. This method is also used only as a last resort and in conjunction with the other methods.

Aircraft Turning back to Taxi Out

Aircraft Turning back to My Airline Flight