Pushback System (SLAI)

Pushback system in use at SLAI with pushback tractor.

Pushback is an airport procedure during which an aircraft is pushed backwards away from an airport gate by external power. Pushbacks are carried out by special, low-profile vehicles called pushback tractors or tugs. In Second Life aviation, pushback can be a feature baked into the aircraft itself or an external automatic utility provided by an airport.

In real-life aviation, although many aircraft are capable of moving themselves backwards on the ground using reverse thrust (a procedure referred to as a powerback), the resulting jet blast or prop wash may cause damage to the terminal building or equipment. Engines close to the ground may also blow sand and debris forward and then suck it into the engine, causing damage to the engine. A pushback using a tractor is therefore the preferred method to move the aircraft away from the gate.