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Rampies Taking Photos Of Planes  
User currently offlinexero9 From Canada, joined Feb 2007, 161 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6367 times:

Hi all,

I don't get to fly as often as I'd like to, so maybe this is more common, but recently I flew back from MCO and noticed something for the first time. We arrived pretty early at the airport and so while we were waiting there I was watching the gate where our plane would arrive, which was first used for a flight to Montreal. While the other plane was parked there, I noticed a rampie, or baggage handler (not really sure of their exact duties, or if they're the same thing essential) taking photos of the plane. At first I thought maybe he was an enthusiast on the side, though he was taking them with a standard looking P&S camera. Hardcore nuts using DSLRs, right?   Also he was taking some strange photos, like a close up of the blades in the engine, the tires, etc. He also took these types of photos of our plane when it finally arrived. The other thing that made it seem like they weren't for personal use was that before they pushed back the Montreal flight, he handed the camera to the guy operating the truck that pushes the airplane back.

Is this fairly common? I can't see what practical use photos like this would have for the airport itself. Even if something were the happen to a plane during it's flight, investigators could piece it together with the wreckage, CVR, and FDR.

I also did a search on this topic but came up with nothing. Maybe they aren't actually called rampies and that's why though. Not sure what else to call them.

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlinebrenintw From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1988 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6302 times:

Sounds like he was taking "cover our butts" photos. If the plane arrives at a station down the line with damaged blades (birdstrike?) or bald tyres then they can show that it left their station in good condition.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31875 posts, RR: 54
Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 6145 times:

Looks like they were filming a Training video.

Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinejosekmlb From United States of America, joined May 2008, 493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 6004 times:

I like to take pics of the planes because well I like planes lol. Another reason could be as stated before damage or training videos as well. If we get damage from an inbound flight we take pics to save our asses.

User currently offlineCanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3424 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5967 times:

I've seen a few times where people (in my case usually maintenance, but then again being maintenance myself I've been mistaken for a ramp boy) have been taking close up photos of various bits and pieces of the aircraft. Usually it's either to show someone (whether it be the manufacturer, other mechanics, friends, etc) certain details; or for future training purposes (for example when your sitting in the office trying to explain something you can have a photo or two to help illustrate your point, or they can be used as part of a presentation during a type endorsement course, as when someone explains a system and goes through diagrams it's often very helpful to have a photo of what the thing actually looks like in real life.) On top of that there is probably 100 other reasons as well.


What could possibly go wrong?
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31875 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5914 times:

In case of Unscheduled Mx. I always keep a few pics of the unserviceable unit.It helps when one has to explain the situation.

Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 5836 times:

I've taken almost 1000 pics from the ramp with no problems whatsoever!

Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1139 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5648 times:

I used to take those same kinds of pictures when I was flying for the airline. It was just for fun and a poor attempt to be artistic. My money would be on the ramper just being an enthusiast photographer.


"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5126 times:

I used to snap one from time to time back in college when I ramped...especially an interesting scheme or a nice evening sunset behind one of the birds. I still take shots of the birds I fly on the ramp...if you look like you know what you're doing, and you look like you belong, people *usually* tend to not mess with you.


User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 2134 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 4945 times:

We usually take pictures when as said before, damage is found. Either to the aircraft, or load, or equipment. I have seen quite a lot of pilots with camera's that surely won't fit in the flight bag, taking pictures of the other traffic.   Just be careful not to get run over when your focusing on your pictures!

From AMS to the world!
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31875 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4736 times:

Out here Ramp photography is totally probhited & no cameras can be used on the Tarmac.Unless specific permission from the authorities in writing & at a cost has been arranged in advance.
However in case of Technical reasons of photographing a part/defect,the employee cellphone camera is used.

Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinecontrails15 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4238 times:

I take pics all the time. Usually its just pictures of my friends and I doing flights as in most cases I'm with my friends working flights just about everyday. The occasional damage pic aka cover our butts pic and in some cases some kind of event happening such as AF1, new service with water salute, fist day for the A380, you get the point. I like taking pics also due to the unique environment in which I work. So not uncommon at all.

Giants football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
User currently offlineMattRB From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1624 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4019 times:

I've taken my camera out on the ramp numerous times to grab shots of anything that catches my fancy. Just a standard P&S camera (which I'm looking to replace), so nothing terribly sophisticated.

Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
User currently offline777ORD From United States of America, joined May 2010, 709 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3490 times:

When I worked at O'hare at the INTL terminal for Swissport, I took HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of pictures over my time there while on the ramp, in the cargo bin etc... The rule is/was "Cell phone use is NOT allowed while OPERATING equipment" So, all I would do is stand on the tarmac, and take my pictures. They do not like it if you take a picture of the building as it may contain security camera's, secured area access etc... But, other than that, it's totally ok. Infact, I've had a Customs agent catch me take a picture, then drive me to a better spot 100 yds away to see the KLM 744Combi load up. (turns out he frequents this site).

I've brought my P&S to work @ ord only for it fall out of my pocket and wind up going to MEX on then operating MX. Ya, never saw that guy again.

When I worked for American Eagle @ DBQ, truth be told a very simple/ small operation. I'd bring my high quality camera and have a coworker take pics of me marshalling the plane, or station agent group pics with the plane. All sorts of things.

Again, just don't be totally stupid with your photography and it's cool.

User currently offlinePWM2TXLHopper From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1447 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3450 times:

I don't know how common it is, but I use to always have my camera close by when I was ramp agent working for Delta. However, I've also taken photos of rampies. Most recently at MCO. I even got a salute from the ramper that was playing air drums.

AIr Drum ramper at Min. 1:20


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