As KC135TopBoom wrote in reply #1, they are leading the planes to the gate/parking position when the pilot is not familar with the airport he just landed at (I experienced very often that "my" plane was following such a car when I arrived at DUS on a non German airline like TU, AZ, etc.).
StevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5539 times:
My understanding is that they're for pilots who are not proficient enough in English to understand the signage. I saw one of these vehicles at SEA a while ago guidiing an Aeroflot plane to the cargo area.
IL76TD From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 289 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5470 times:
Follow me planes can be requested by an airline for pilots unfamiliar with an airport. I know for a fact that for some charter airlines they are mandatory. And they are called exactly what they look like 'follow me' cars. Even on the bill from the airport they are mentioned as 'follow me' service.
HaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2069 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5443 times:
They are used for GA planes as well. During my time at Daytona Beach Jet Center we had a Follow Me cart to be used for various occassions. One such was when my supervisor sent me out to meet an Army Huey at 'point', the farthest we could go off the apron, and bring him in to a parking spot.
It's been a long time ago, but if I remember right it was mainly used for corporate jets coming in, DoD aircraft, and during high density parking times, like the week preceding the races here at DAB.
RayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7694 posts, RR: 5 Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5235 times:
What's interesting is that these Follow Me vehicles are generally fairly large vehicles, mostly for visibility reasons. You definitely don't want to have a vehicle about the size of a VW Golf for this purpose, given pilots might not be able to see them in low-visibility conditions.
I wouldn't be surprised they use Renault Espace vans at CDG and ORY for this purpose.
UAcsOKC From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 107 posts, RR: 1 Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5099 times:
I jumpseated a BAX plane to TOL for training a few years ago, to my surprise they had a Follow Me Tug that led us to our spot on the freight ramp. Pretty cool, as I had never actually experienced that.
I love the rumble of a 727 takeoff in the morning!
Iberia340600 From Spain, joined Oct 2003, 804 posts, RR: 15 Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4998 times:
In Spain the follow me cars are used at all airports for all airline operations. All aircraft must stop before entering the ramp apron and the follow me car will direct them to either their gate or hardstand.
Schooner From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 139 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4751 times:
They are also used if for instance there is "work in progress" and the taxi-way takes the aircraft fairly close to it, such as Manchester at the moment. Thought the marshaller was the bloke waving the flashing batons at the aircraft as we taxy serenely past .
Mir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 19695 posts, RR: 56 Reply 17, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4739 times:
When there was a big snowstorm at JFK a few months ago, quite a few pilots requested follow-me cars to guide them to their gates because of the low visibility and the snow cover making it hard to distinguish what was the taxiway and what was not.
Not quite sure what kind of cars they used.
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
note: Searching for these picture I realized how "sterile" and "dull" the a.net database is. Huge amounts of basically identical pictures taken from the same spot, same angle, the only difference is the registration.
Wouldn't it be refreshing to see more picture showing some real airport life, you know some airside action???
L410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5392 posts, RR: 19 Reply 21, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4546 times:
I was surprised they have one at PED. I mean you have to be one dumbass pilot if you get lost over there. PED is just an air base converted for mixed military/civilian operations. There are no gates, no jetways, one runway, one(?) taxiway. If anyone has a link to the aerial view webpage have a look yourself.
HAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31201 posts, RR: 58 Reply 23, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4355 times:
Out here,The Follow me Vehicle are Mahindra Jeeps painted Yellow with Black Stripes,having a Illuminated Board on its roof facing rear with the Red "STOP" & Yellow "FOLLOW" Illuminated depending on the Instructions to be passed on to the Aircraft following the Vehicle.