The pushback procedure is defined as a rearward movement of the aircraft using specialized equipment, most commonly a pushback truck. Interestingly enough, there is equipment to pushback small Cessna 172’s as well as jetliners like the Airbus A380 is.
Betterpushback for X-Plane
In X-Plane 11, the community has been using Skiselkov’s BetterPushback plugin for many years. It has proven to be one of the essential and most-recommended plugins for beginners when joining the world of flight simulation.
GSX for Prepar3D
On the other hand, the Prepar3D community has been using GSX (Ground Services X) from FSDreamTeam for many years. While it offers a much greater number of features than BetterPushback, it is not a freeware addon.
What about msfs?
Microsoft Flight Simulator has a very extensive freeware addon availability. Yet, for a good amount of time, there was no proper pushback plugin for it. Hence many users avoided flying from gates. The default pushback is, to put it bluntly, quite random and for sure unsufficient.
This was until May of last year when a developer AmbitiousPilots introduced what he called Toolbar Pushback.
Toolbar Pushback for MSFS
Toolbar Pushback is like a sibling of BetterPushback for X-Plane, but for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Especially after AmbitiousPilots presented a major update for the tool, thus now offering a visual pushback planner.
It is the first pushback tool for Microsoft Flight Simulator to offer such a feature. Before the update was released, you had to keep focused and control the pushback truck using the controller.
AmbitiousPilots promotes the feature as: “plan the pushback route ahead and let the pushbacker automatically do his/her job whilst you carry on with your checklists and start your engines“. In other words, this tool will make your life much easier and it’s freeware.
With over 200 thousand downloads, it is also clear that it is currently the most used pushback tool for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Not mentioning that it dominates the “Applications” category on Flightsim.to by a significant amount of downloads.
How to install toolbar pushback?
Although there is no installer, the installation of the tool is very straightforward (Drag&Drop). It can be done by following a few simple steps:
- Download the addon from Flightsim.to
- Extract the downloaded folder
- Copy its content to the Community folder of your simulator
After you’ve followed those steps, you can launch your simulator and start making use of the pushback tool.
How to use toolbar pushback?
The addon is really uncomplicated to use. If you’ve installed it correctly, you will have a new item in the in-game bar. If you click on it, you will access the plugin interface and all features it has to offer.
In this example, my goal will be to guide you through the pushback process, needless to say, the automated one using the pre-planner.
Once you have the interface opened, click on the “Pre-plan pushback” button. By doing that, you will be prompted with another window in which you will be telling the pushback driver where do you want to be towed.
In that window, you can move around the map and once you are happy with the position where you want to be towed, simply confirm it by left-clicking and hitting enter button. It is really straightforward, hence I am are pretty sure you will not find it problematic to use.
Now, that we’ve told the pushbacker where do we want to go, we can start the actual pushback by clicking the big “Request pushback” button.
As in real-life operations, you will be told through the radio what to do, especially when it comes to parking brake settings which is crucial in order for the pushback to commence and end.
As I mentioned earlier in the article, pushback is not only limited to airliners but also smaller general aviation aircraft. The process is the same as with airliners in the article.
If you want to download Toolbar Pushback and don’t want to go back to the article to find it, you can download it using this link.