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Saluting The Pilot.  
User currently offlineWilliam From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1355 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5465 times:

I find it interesting when an aircraft is pushed back and disconnected from the tractor,the final signal the ground man is gives is waving of the paddles,points at the pilot and then salutes him.

Is there a reason behind the spectacle? Some salutes are more elaborate than others. Its very interesting to watch.

I know the ground man is directing the which way the pilot is to go with his paddles.

But what does pointing at the pilot mean?

Or the fancy salutes(I have nothing against them,I find them entertaining.)?

Could an airline employee or pilot please answer my questions?

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBuff From Australia, joined Mar 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (14 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5188 times:

Depends purely on the ground handler. Each is different with his/her own personality. Some are fancy as you've observed; others just turn and walk away like you're interfering with their day!!

No matter which "type" you end up with though, it is absolutely vital that you receive some kind of acknowledgment that it is safe to move the airplane. The bigger they are, the more important this last step.

Best Regards,

Buff


User currently offlineExPratt From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (14 years 6 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 5138 times:

When the airplane is taxiing into the gate or being pushed (or powered ) back, it is under the direction of the person with the paddles. In some countries, they are called marshalls or marshallers. They ensure clearance between the airplane and any other objects. After the towbar is disconnected and the tractor has moved clear, the marshaller will direct the pilots to taxi and show them the direction to taxi out of the area. The salute transfers the responsibility to maintain safe clearance to the pilots. The formality of the salute varies from person to person.

User currently offlineCX flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6642 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (14 years 6 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5113 times:

In my experience, the ground crew hold the nose gear pin in the air long enough for the pilot to see and give a wave to indicate that he has seen it. The ground crew then give a very quick wave and turn around and walk away. (Never seen the salute!) .

Crews for the Japanese airlines are required to not only wave at the pilots enthusiastically, but all the passengers as the aircraft slowly taxies away!!!!


User currently offlineSforamper From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 6 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5069 times:

If im the left wing walker I stand in front of the plane as soon as its ready to disconnect, holding the wands in an X position waiting for right walker to disconnect bar and communication cable, once they re clear I lower the wands and wait for flash of taxi light, that means he s ready to taxi then I move wands back and forth, point in taxi direction then salute him, this means he is now responsible for aircraft.
Some airlines have a different procedure like no wing walkers whick I think are essential, by the way when Im right wing walker and have to disconnect the first thing that crosses my mind is , I hope the nose gear doesnt collapse.


User currently offlineDnalor From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 369 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (14 years 6 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5027 times:

Have actually seen JAL ground staff wave enthusiastically, was kinda nice.

User currently offlineCALPilot From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 999 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (14 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5028 times:

All above is correct. At CO the Steering bypass pin is displayed, and a salute to clear the zone for taxi. And remember to always make the salute a good one as a sign of professionalism; it could be the last...

User currently offlineWilliam From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1355 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (14 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4982 times:

Thank you for the responses. Again,the variety of salutes is pretty interesting. I get the opinion that some ramp guys must have been former military. Growing up around the military,I see the same,"poetry" in using the paddles and salutes.

Again,thanks,it does make for some interesting watching from the concourse.


User currently offlinePilot21 From Ireland, joined Oct 1999, 1386 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (14 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4978 times:

Another one that wasn't mentioned, but which sometimes is used over the salute (well in Dublin anyway) is the Thumbs up sign, basically as everybody said above, lets the pilot know it's ok to taxi, plus have a great flight, It's a nice gesture.
Pilot21



Aircraft I've flown: A300/A310/A320/A321/A330/A340/B727/B732/B733/B734/B735/B738/B741/B742/B744/DC10/MD80/IL62/Bae146/AR
User currently offlineB727-200 From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 1051 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (14 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4956 times:


Pilot21, same story in Australia. The Thumbs-up indicates all systems go.

B727-200.


User currently offlineWilcharl From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1168 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (14 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4931 times:

William,

I am a student @ Embry Riddle Univ & spend my summers as a ramp agent for a semi major airline. The saulte is a change of command from the ramp agent to the captain. Aircraft SOP manuals require they acknoledge the salute verbaly (for the CVR) and by flashing their lights back at us or saluting back. I always wave at the passengers and give them a thumbs up while I load the plane i think it sets any nervous ones at ease and gets a smile out of the business travelrs. As for the salute I do it in a crisp and military fashion. Alot of people dont. I feel its respect for them, and hope if i was in the left seat I would get the same. Also, this is sad and i hope it doesnt sound morbid, but in the highly unlikely event that something tragic would happen to that crew and passengers, I would want to know as the last person to see them that I sent them off with respect and dignitity.

Charles


User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (14 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4926 times:

Here at IAD I put thumbs up or salute to the pilot, but first you have to show him by-pass safety pin, when he see that he will salut to you or he will do the thumbs up.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Rafal Szczypek



ANA's officials are waiting to the last minute and they waiving to the pilots and paxs.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Rafal Szczypek



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Rafal Szczypek



They have only 1 daily flight so they can do it, not like USAirways 150 daily departures.

Regards,
Rafal


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (14 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4914 times:

Hey I remember that 737 nosegear photo.....Hi Rafal....Did we every finish that discussion last year about the bypass pin????

Anyway when I first got out of the military I used to do a very formal "wave off" salute. At Alaska and Reeve when I worked there it was basicly...give a thumbs up meaning the aircraft is ok, and then salute the pilot to tell him he is on his own.

Over where I work now the rule is the pilot will either wave or flash the landing lights first, depending on visibility and then you wave to let him know you are getting out of the way.

Over time that very formal salute de-evolved into an Highly exagerated wave. That way there was no risk of it being confused with me doing something else. Like holding my hand above my eyes to block the sun or something simular.

Rule of thumb with any of those hand signs is to exagerate them if there is any chance of them being confused with some other motion/action or signal.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (14 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4903 times:

Hey L-188 that was nice topic with responds from all over the world, Alaska, Australia, Europe.
We came to conclusion that not all B737-200/300/400s have by pass pin.

Regards,
Rafal


User currently offlineWilliam From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1355 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (14 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4902 times:

I understand the protocol with the salute. I was also interested in the motions the flag man gives the pilots. Some flagsters(if I can call them that) give real fancy wave offs to the pilots,and some are simple.

The flagsters that have the complicated waves offs,are they usually ex-military? If you have ever seen the BLUE ANGELs do preflight before the crowd with the mechanics giving the complicated hand signals,you will know what I mean.

And some flagsters,after waving the the direction the aircraft is to go,they then point at the cockpit,and then salute. Some flagsters do this and do not,just giving a simple wave. Please explain the differences in wave offs. Is it experience or what?

As a frequent flyer,I find it intriguing.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (14 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4896 times:

Yeah that was a great discussion......We should bring it up as an example of a good discussion to have on the aircraft...Did I mention that I had gotten a chance to look at a 737-200 ops manual? The aircraft does have both a bypass pin and a switch in the cockpit to shut down the stearing system. So I guess it depends on the procedure the airline wants to put in the manual.

 



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineWilcharl From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1168 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (14 years 6 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4861 times:

@ our airline, if the aircraft is powered back we do 3 i guess you call them up thrusts with the marshalling wands in the direction of the nose meaning all hatches doors etc are shut on the port side and then 3 to the right (tail) meaning all on the starbord side are closed then salute. on a pushback we do the same thing only we do 3 forward and 3 backwards this lets the captain know that all is clear on each side and he/she isnt going to depart with the ground power port open... At times these have gotten creative including doing the macarana or the dirty bird after the plane was sent out of the gate (this is on a powerback only as the pax can not see the marsahller sending the flt. off on a pushback) Oh our 737 200s do not have lockout pins  



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