Sunday, February 1, 2015

That small pushback tug

I have always been amazed at airports when I see a large aircraft being pulled back by a small little vehicle which is a fraction of the size of the plane. Many aircraft are capable of moving themselves backwards on the ground using reverse thrust (a procedure referred to as a powerback), but the resulting jet blast or prop wash may cause damage to terminal buildings or equipment. Aircraft engines when operated close to the ground may also blow sand and debris forward and then suck it into the engine and damage the engine. A pushback is therefore the preferred method to move the aircraft away from the gate or terminal building and this is done using a pushback tractor or tug. Pushback tractors have a low profile design that allows them to fit under the aircraft nose and they are heavy for traction weighing up to 54 tonnes (119,000 pounds) for large aircraft tractors. Often, the  driver's cabin can be raised for increased visibility when reversing, and lowered to fit under aircraft. A pushback tractor seems so small and powerless compared to the aircraft it pulls but it does so with ease because it has been carefully crafted to do this job well. It has the right design, weight and torque required to perform this function. Bringing this analogy into life, we all at some point need someone or something that may seem smaller than us or incapable to help us, but they do exactly that. The aircraft never boasts of its massive Rolls Royce engines which can lift it up to fly to distant places at great at great altitudes. At the time when its pulled by the little tug, it has to keep those engines quiet and submit to the small pull on the ground. It is not always that we need to be the "knight in shining amour" and save the world with our own power, strength, talent and ability. Sometimes we just need to let others shine in their own moment while yield, humble ourselves and submit to others and wait for our time to come. Those seemingly small may just be the ones that can do the required work in us at that time to get us going to greater heights and distant places. The tractor will never reach the heights that the aircraft can, but its job is done when it gets the aircraft out and ready to take off. There are those who can make you look good even though they themselves may never get the credit for it. Will you submit yourself to a small tug today and let it put you in the right space to enable you to take off?