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thebigmanwiththeplan

Flight deck to ground communications

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There is often an intercom jack in the nose wheel well that a ground pounder can plug a headset into and talk to the cockpit. Usually, they use hand signals.

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In the case of heavy aircraft, there are heaset jacks around the entire aircraft that ground staff can plug in to ( exterior only). For example, on a 747-400 there is one on a junction box which is attached to the oleo strut ( oleo strut = the big pipe that the nose wheels are attached to) which is the one that is used more often than not. On the 747-400 there is also one headset jack per engine, one in the APU bay etc. What frequency do the pilots tune to you ask? The answer is none on the 747-400 and I dare say all other jet aircraft. All the interphone jacks are wired to one another and also to the flight deck. It works much like a wired telephone system used at home except the flight interphone/service interphone system is confined to the aircraft and you don't have to call anyone. In the case of ground crew/pilot comms, all that need be done to communicate is for the ground crew to plug in their headset somewhere on the plane, usually at the nose landing gear, and the pilots to set their Audio Control Panel correctly. As far as hand signals go, in the case of jet airliners, we almost never use them, unless there is an absolute requirement to use them.Hope that answers that question for you. Anymore questions? Feel free to ask. Cheers.Ash Frew.

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Thats quite ok. Please note that this is real life and not PMDG 747-400 that im refering to. The Pilot must depress the "FLT" audio button which is a round button with an arrow on it. This button will illuminate when selected on, and won't be illuminated when selected off. Note: this will only allow the pilot to HEAR gnd crew voice transmissions over the interphone system and not allow them to speak.To be able to speak to the gnd crew, the pilot must press the "MIC" button which is a square-ish button colored black. It is located above the circle "FLT" audio button. This button has a green light on it that will illuminate when selected, allowing the pilot to verbally communicate with the gnd crew. Feel free to ask more questions if you have any.Ash Frew.

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As far as hand signals go, in the case of jet airliners, we almost never use them, unless there is an absolute requirement to use them.
Only if the gate guidance systems fails (too often)... or the aircraft interphone system fails. And, of course, we give the thumbs up and wave goodbye after we have disconnected our headsets )))Lately, we have been plugging a wireless device into the "Flight Int" jack on the nosewheel panel. This allows us to use a wireless headset... This means we don't have to stand so close to the nosewheel and not get run over by the pushback tug or the airplane (or get our headphone cables run over or tangled around the wheels).On the Audio Selector Panel, either selecting the square-ish "FLT" (mic) button or the pushing the circular one beneath that (with an arrow on it), and then adjusting the volume with the circular knob, will allow you to hear the ground engineer. However, speaking to the ground can be done without any selections at all... Each control column (yoke) has a two-position rocker switch. One selection is called "MIC" and one is called "INT". INT allows you to transmit to the ground no matter what your selections on the pedestal panels (easy way). If you use the MIC selection on the control column, you need to select "FLT" on the audio panel beforehand.Hope this helpsQ>

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Thanks for the elaboration and correction with respect to the mic button Qavion. And yes, your info about hand signals is quite right indeed.Ash Frew

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