Marshalling signals

Who all in the coop knows the actual marshalling signal meanings Julio is trying to convey? I think Julio’s faces on this strip are priceless. They might actually give away more what he means than the movement of his wands, HAHA.

When I was flying the little prop planes and then helicopters, I seldom got marshaled. It’s pretty easy to squeeze into a spot with a small aircraft. But with the big helicopter on wheels it has become important again to know them and what the marshal is trying to tell me. What is even more important on the Chinook is that some people unfamiliar with the aircraft misjudge how low the front rotor plane is to the ground when taxiing forward. They keep marshaling “straight ahead” almost running the front rotor into themselves if nobody were paying attention. So we often have to stop way before they want us to stop and have them take a few steps back first before we can keep going. Even when we are parked, I usually have the crew chief jump out to make sure nobody approaches the aircraft from the front. ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ does not apply to rotorblades – they straight up kill you.

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7 comments on “Marshalling signals
  1. Harro says:

    did you actually fly a Chinook, they are pretty awesome machines. Must have been quite an experience.

  2. mike says:

    Yes Harro, I am actually flying them currently. We use them in the civilian world now to fight fires and work construction. And yes, they are the coolest helicopter I have ever flown!

  3. Deathknyte says:

    1st one I would say is steady as she goes. 2nd one is a wave off or abort. 3rd is crash immanent.

  4. Andrew says:

    I guess that the Chinook must be quite stable, especially while hovering? Living in Europe, I have never seen one fly. In the Alps, on the other hand, one can sometimes spot the K-MAX, or even the KA-32 (both operated by Swiss companies). At least when observed from the ground (and as far as I can remember) they both seem way more stable than machines with a conventional tail rotor configuration.

  5. Captain Dunsel says:

    Living near Army posts and USAF bases, we’ve seen lots of Chinooks (even gave a few crews weather briefings during my time in the USAF). Interesting aircraft, with a very distinctive sound.

    Oh, and when they make low passes over parking lots, they tend to set off a lot of car alarms :-)!


  6. mike says:

    @Andrew: The Chinook really is quite stable. But I am not sure how much of that comes from the fact that it doesn’t have a tailrotor. It uses an AFCS system (automatic flight control system) which helps keeping the helicopter stable. The AFCS dampens out outside influences (turbulence and such) and corrects it right away without the pilot having to do anything. It’s a very smart system, utilizing a bunch of gyros and black magic.
    Another reason might be the fact that a rotor disc doesn’t like moving it’s axis (gyro effect) and the Chinook basically has two gigantic gyros, LOL.
    They are stable, but not smooth (when you sit in them). It’s like driving a tractor, not a Ferrari 😉

  7. Andrew says:

    Thanks Mike!

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