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Chock

Marshaling an A330 onto a remote stand

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Quick phone snap I took this morning at about 3.30am.

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This is a Thomas Cook A330-200, having just been backed off from stand 32, to then be towed onto the remote stand 66. This is done so that aeroplanes which won't be leaving for a while can park up and they do not clog up the more useful stands which have air bridges. To do this, I did the road signalling to allow it to push off stand 32, then jumped into an EBT and raced over to stand 66 where it was being towed to, then guided it onto 66. At night, especially in the wet when there are a lot of reflections, the tug driver can't see the road markings or the turnoff markers for the stand very well, or see the correct place to stop the tow, so on this occasion it was my job to make sure it ended up in the right spot. When it was safely where it was supposed to be, we chocked it and put steps onto the thing so the guy in the cockpit on the brakes (for safety whilst it was being towed) could get off it since there is no air bridge on 66. Because the weather was cack and there was a weather warning in force at the airport, we didn't have to put any cones around the thing (they'd just blow away), which is good because A330s are big and walking all the way around one putting cones out in various places is not fun in the rain lol.

The bright white light is the headlights of the tug as it turned toward me. It carried on turning that way onto the taxiways to the remote stands, then when it was adjacent to 66, made a  left turn onto the stand's centreline with me guiding it. When it was getting near the correct stop marker for an A330-200, I signaled the tug driver to stop in the right place, and that way we could be sure that the aeroplane's rear end was not hanging out over the road at the rear of the stand, which is important when there is no cone at the back of it to keep passing vehicles clear of it because the A330 is quite a big aeroplane.

We had unloaded this one about an hour before this, I was up in the rear bulk cargo hold putting loose baggage onto a conveyor whilst other people were offloading the ULDs. Amongst the cargo in the rear bulk hold were two really cute GSD puppies in a couple of pet carrier cages. I made sure someone else came up the conveyor to help me place these carefully on the conveyor, because it is at a very steep angle when up on an A330, and being that the conveyor was also wet, I did not want the pet carriers to go sliding down the conveyor. So sometimes that 'barking dog' sound you hear on an Airbus is not a power transfer valve pumping hydraulic pressure to the other system (not that the A330 makes this sound, but the A320 does); occasionally it really is a dog in the hold lol.

Edited by Chock

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