How to Marshall a Jet

Two Parts:Prepare For DutyMarshall Jets

Jet aircraft at a military base are kept ready for flight in an area known as the flight line. Most jets are designed to give the pilot and crew good visibility forward, but relatively poor visibility to the side and no visibility to the rear. They are guided to and from the taxiway by professionals known as marshallers. Marshallers move in front of the jet and use hand signals to give directions to the pilot. Often, several marshallers work the flight line. Use these steps to learn how to marshall jets.

Part 1
Prepare For Duty

  1. 1
    Put on battle dress uniform. Use jackets or gloves if working in cold weather. Battle dress uniform shirts may be removed if working under hot conditions. If battle dress uniform shirts are removed, they must be placed so that they will not be blown back onto the flight line.
  2. 2
    Wear a high visibility vest over the uniform. This vest must be international orange in color. In reduced visibility operations, this vest must have reflective material on it.
  3. 3
    Take signaling tools. For daylight operations, use high visibility wands. For nighttime operations, use flashlights with visibility cones attached.
  4. 4
    Wear head wear as applicable. Headgear may be worn to protect against cold or rain. Any headgear must be secured on the head of the marshaller. Headgear may not be worn when turbine powered engines are on the flight line.
  5. 5
    Protect yourself. Use ANSI approved hearing protection. Also use OSHA and ANSI approved eye protection. Use sunscreen of at least SPF 15 when working under bright sunlight.
  6. 6
    Take communication tools with you. A radio will be supplied by the flight line supervisor. The flight line supervisor will brief you on call signs and operation of the radio.

Part 2
Marshall Jets

  1. 1
    Park an incoming aircraft. Stand at the spot that has been designated for the jet. Do not try to go out and meet the jet. The jet will be brought to you or move to you.
  2. 2
    Guide an outgoing aircraft. Stay in front of the jet and in view of the pilot at all times.
  3. 3
    Use the standard hand signals, accentuated by the wands or flashlights, to direct the pilot.
    • Indicate yes, I will comply. Raise your right arm.
    • Signify no, not clear or I will not comply. Extend your right arm out and down.
    • Show come this way. Raise both hands above your head
    • Pass control of the jet to another marshaller. Point across your waist left or right towards the next marshaller.
    • Tell the pilot to slow down. Move both arms up and down repeatedly while keeping your arms down and slightly away from your body.
    • Direct the pilot to turn left. Keep your right arm down and slightly away from your body. Motion to the pilot's left with your left hand above your left shoulder.
    • Indicate to the pilot to turn right. Keep your left arm down and slightly away from your body. Motion to the pilot's right with your right hand above your right shoulder.
    • Ask the pilot to move ahead. Raise both arms to shoulder height and move both hands repeatedly upward and backwards.
    • Order the pilot to apply the brakes. Hold both arms up. Slowly move your hands towards each other. Bring the hands together and hold them there to indicate a stop.
    • Indicate to the pilot to release the brakes. Hold both arms up with hands near each other above your head. Slowly move your hands apart and out.
    • Order the ground personnel to remove the wheel chocks. Hold both arms down slightly spread from the body. Move your hands apart and out from the body
    • Order the ground personnel to insert the wheel chocks. Hold both arms down and slightly spread from the body. Move your hands slowly into the body.
    • Ask the pilot to start the engines of the jet. Raise your arms up with your hands spread. Make a rotating motion with your right hand.
    • Tell the pilot to slow down the engines on 1 side of the jet only. Hold your arms down. Slightly extend the hand on the side of the engines that you want the pilot to slow, and make an up and down motion with that hand.
    • Direct the pilot to cut the engines. Keep your left arm down. Raise your right arm and make a slashing motion across your throat.
    • Warn the pilot that a fire has occurred. Hold the arm on the side of the fire straight out. Point to the side of the fire with your other arm across your waist.


  • Marshalls should watch for and remove loose objects and debris on the flight line.
  • Marshallers should have fire extinguisher training. However, they should not respond directly to emergencies except to report them immediately. The priority of the marshaller in an emergency situation is to stop the jet and get the personnel off the jet.

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Categories: Aviation