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Wheel-barrowing is a problem that may occur when a pilot places excessive forward pressure on the elevator control of an aeroplane with a nose wheel during takeoff or landing. Forward pressure on the flight controls places an up force on the horizontal tail, thereby transferring weight from the landing gear main wheels to the nose wheel. The aircraft, in effect, behaves like a wheelbarrow and directional control is compromised. The nose wheel is not designed to support the entire weight of the aircraft, and this can cause the nose wheel of the aircraft to collapse.

In extreme cases, the propeller of a single engine airplane may strike the ground damaging it and the engine, or the aircraft may tip over on the nose-wheel and one main wheel causing wing damage. Wheel-barrowing may also be caused with a tricycle gear when the turn radius is too sharp for the speed of the aircraft on the ground - much like a child on a tricycle taking too sharp a turn. The problem is exacerbated when the turn is taken while braking.