Ramp Life... Some interesting Facts

FBO Life

Hello IFC,

Today, im going to give an inside process of what it is like to be a line service tech for Business and General Aviation. The FBO I worked at had a first shift that was from 5am to 1pm a mid shift from 9am to 5 pm and a second shift from 2pm till close which was 10 pm. Also each LST was given a week for our call-out phone. Now here are a few things that might be useful tips and some processes. Warning: Some processes vary from FBO to FBO and country to country.

  • Types of Fuel and Color
  1. Avgas 100 LL- Blue
  2. Avgas 100-Green
  3. Jet A- Straw
  4. Jet A plus- Straw
  • Types of Fuel Trucks (gallon)
  1. Avgas Truck (1,000)
  2. Avgas Truck (500)
  3. Jet Truck (3,000)
  4. Jet Truck (5,000)
  5. Jet Truck (5,000)
  • Types of Fueling
  1. Single Point Fueling: Commercial Jets, Big to Midsize Corporate Jets
  2. Overwing: Small Corporate Jets, Turboprops, Pistons
  • Refueling Process (Overwing)
  1. Ground the aircraft to fuel truck
  2. Turn on the fuel flow
  3. Set up ladder and fuel mat
  4. Grab hose and open the fuel tank to plane
  5. Start fueling
  6. Process is faster with 2 people but takes time
  7. Slowwwww
  • Refueling Process (Single Point)
  1. Ground Aircraft to fuel truck
  2. Turn on fuel flow
  3. Set and open fuel panel to desire amount
  4. Grab and hook hose to the fuel receiver
  5. Lock fuel hose and watch the fuel
  6. Grab deadman switch and hold until desired amount of fuel is pumped.

This was just some things I learned that I thought might be interesting to the community as not that many people are rampers or line service techs. Fill free to post questions in the comments below


This is some great info, thanks!


That is actually extremely interesting, and i enjoyed reading it, thanks for sharing 😉👍


Your welcome! Glad you enjoyed it


Your welcome! Glad you enjoyed it. There I’ll be more


@N1DG Pretty much what we do at our FBO. The one thing that I get confused the most is when topping off the airplane.

Wings are angled a bit, so for me, I have to eyeball it when it reaches the bottom brim of the hole, so it doesn’t overflow.

Same with “The Tabs”. Sometimes they ask to fill to the tab, which means once we reach the tab, we have to stop fueling. Some airplanes have two tabs though.

It’s harder when airplanes have those auxiliary tanks on the wingtips and they ask for top off. Sometimes the fuel cap is on an angle.

It’s more easy for me to fuel when someone asks for a specific amount of fuel (e.g. 75 negative Prist/positive prist)

As for fuel trucks, we only have, as far as I know, AvGas LL (Low Lead) trucks, and the normal Jet A fuel trucks.

We also have those huge Jet A fuel trucks for planes like the Boeing 767 or bigger for those which have two fuel ports.


The refueling process is so slow that they renamed the switch to “deadman”

This is (probably) not true

Thanks for the informative topic!

We have the Prist positive and the prist negative. Some planes are different with each topoff. Kingairs are pains while citations are easy to me

The flap is the worst. I tried to get it in, only made it halfway in.

I could barely see the reflection of the sun when fueling. Plus, it was a top off.

I struggle to get the hose onto the plane. Example is the Gulf Stream. Since you have to turn it right to click onto place, I struggle a lot since the hose itself is heavy, and of course you have to flip the switch to lock it into place.

I’m still new, but am learning how to properly fuel airplanes :). I love my job a lot ;)

Yah there pains 😂😂. I hated fueling them with the flap. It’s a delicate of don’t underfuel but also don’t overfuel it. It’s a lot of fun. I enjoyed it

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So far, I’ve fueled a couple of PlaneSense’s PC-12’s, A bonanza, some other GA plane, and a couple of others which need the hose connected.

I for some reason still get confused about grounding points, since every airplane is different

Yah every plane is different. I fueled pretty much every plane from a 737-400 to a Cessna 152


Nice to know. 😉


Very interesting to know - and also jealous that you get to work on the ramp


Scary name… the “Deadman’s Switch”. The name comes from the switch that shuts off everything in case you’re dead (i.e. not holding the fuel flow switch anymore), isn’t it? Shows just how important your role is in a potentially dangerous work environment. I don’t have any “Deadman’s Switch” at my office except probably the coffee steamer lol :D Thanks for posting! :)

I’ve seen it in a hostage movie. Shoot the bomber - everyone goes sky high as the deadman’s switch is the only one keeping the circuit apart when his thumb is still pressing on it :p in a ramper’s case, it’s the only switch keeping the fuel flowing as long as the thumb is pressing


This is named that way so if the guy dies, the fuel will stop when he releases the switch


Deadmans switch means if something was to happen to the fueler the fueling would atutomaticslly stop. It’s a pressure poit switch so of your fueling and you let go it will stop

Ahem. Looks like I have a trip to LIT on the 9th. You working?


I’ll be there to meet you! What time are you coming in!

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Uh oh. Not one of those things.