Ever wonder what it feels like to guide a Multi-Million dollar to a parking spot without messing up? Well, you’ll find out in this thread!
I have been studying Marshal signals before I even got a job at the airport. You can view how to Guide in airplanes on YouTube here:
Today, I got the opportunity to guide in Two jets for the very first time.
I have been guiding in smaller airplanes like the Twin Props and single engines (e.g C172, Baron) in random occasions, and last Saturday, since it was the slowest day ever, I was Told to park three airplanes (one was a quick stop and go). I was starting to get more confident in marshaling, and so I successfully parked the airplanes coming in.
My Supervisor wanted me to continue learning how to park airplanes, in case we happen to get super busy. And that Busy Day happened to be today. Today, we got loads of Military jets and Civil planes. Because nearly everyone was away, with an exception of a new hire and a coworker (for fueling), I was left to work the Ramp. Note that I’m still in training, but they’re confident enough to let me park airplanes, but not fueling them yet, as I cannot drive the fuel trucks at the moment. Earlier we had enough people to park the other planes in our ramp, before they had to go do other stuff.
A Falcon 2000 landed and I was tasked to Park the airplane, with slight communication issue I ran to park the airplane. The Falcon was my first time parking a Jet Airplane!. We had some small hangers on the side and I had to park it in between a KC-135 and a FlexJet Phenom. It wasn’t a tight spot, but I managed and parked the airplane. It felt great, I did feel a tad nervous knowing this is something bigger than what I usually do, but it was an amazing feeling Parking a Jet.
This was a great personal test to see if I can manage a jet airplane, in which i can say I can park a Falcon 2000 :)
A Falcon similar to this one | My picture
Now we go into 7:45pm, I am tasked to park a Gulfstream G4. After inspecting the Hardstand I was going to park it in, I used a line on the concrete as a reference point, as I wanted the airplane to be straight and in the middle, so to make each side equal for space in case another airplane was to land.
I got myself ready, and since it was dark, it would be my first ever time guiding a jet at night.
Everyone got ready, a coworker with the fuel truck on standby, and me with my wands and chocks on my shoulder.
Being more than 1.1 million dollars, I had to make sure everything was done right. I did make me a bit more nervous than usual, but I took a deep breath and got myself ready.
The G4 lands and taxis off the Runway, and as soon as it taxis into our taxiway I made the signal to make the pilots aware of where I wanted them to lark and now the plane was coming in. I began the “Come Ahead” signal. After a bit, I had to signal him to turn to his left, so I can line him up in the center of the Hardstand. After that, I can now safely guide him forward, and I stopped him before he could go too far out, and then chocked the front wheels and let the pilots know that the chocks are in by signaling the wands inward with a closing action.
A Gulfstream similar to the one I parked tonight | My picture
I successfully parked my first Gulfstream!
It felt amazing that I am now more confident to park jets. My supervisor was happy and thanked me for Parking it. I guess I can now park airplanes when they need me if there is ever a busy day.
Thanks for reading! I hope you can see how it feels like to park planes! If you learned something, great!
Comment below on what you think about this.