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Beneath The Wing Series Home of the Beneath The Wing blogs, which provide a detailed (but security-redacted) insider view of life as a baggage handler and ramp worker at a mid-size U.S. airport.

Beneath The Wing, Part 6: Walk The Line

Posted 08-08-2013 at 05:54 PM by MaverickSawyer

Part 6: Walk The Line

No, not the Johnny Cash song. This post is about the “wingwalker” tasks during arrival and departure. And, no, that doesn’t mean I got to walk on the actual wing. (Although that would have been cool. )

So, why do you need to have people at the wingtips during arrival and pushback? Simple: the pilots can’t see anything behind them. Therefor, in order to prevent the aircraft from banging into things like light poles, baggage carts, or other...
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Part 5: Bags and Tags

Posted 05-13-2013 at 04:56 PM by MaverickSawyer

Before I begin, I want to say that this may be the last one for a while, as I have a couple of real-life situations that are going to come to a nexus here in the next month or so, and I'm going to be going through some pretty dramatic changes in my life. I'll continue to post continuations of the series as I find time.

Beneath The Wing, Part 5: Bags and Tags.

Next time you fly with an airline, don't just cut off that little strip of paper and plastic that got...
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Part 4: Read Between The Lines

Posted 04-17-2013 at 03:03 AM by MaverickSawyer
Updated 04-17-2013 at 03:54 PM by MaverickSawyer

Beneath The Wing, Part 4: Read Between The Lines

Looking around the ramp at an airport, the first thing that sticks out is all the hustle and bustle of operations. However, if you look closely, you can see that certain paint lines can impact how aircraft, crews, and support equipment are moved around.

In the picture below, I have shown the four most common color patterns that I interacted with:
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Beneath the Wings Focus: CRJ 200

Posted 04-08-2013 at 12:52 AM by MaverickSawyer
Updated 08-02-2018 at 06:14 AM by MaverickSawyer

Beneath The Wing, Aircraft Focus #1: CRJ-200

Manufactured by: Bombardier.
Seating: 50+4 crew.
Powerplant: 2 8,729 lbf (38.83 kN) CF34-3B1 turbofans.
Production status: ended
No. Produced: 1021


The CRJ-200 was an update to the previously existing CRJ-100, and provided an increase in takeoff weight and range. The design originated from the Canadair CL601 Challenger corporate aircraft, and therefor has many similarities....
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Part 3: Oh Captain, My Captain...

Posted 03-21-2013 at 12:39 AM by MaverickSawyer

Part 3: Oh Captain, My Captain…

I’ll give you a quick recap of last week’s finale…

Originally Posted by Part 2
I was one of three FNGs (F***ing New Guys/Gals) who completed the training in time for this, and was promptly given a loaner vest and a pair of disposable ear plugs, and told, “Time to begin your On the Job Training.”
Now, as I put on the loaner vest, set my earplugs, and donned my sunglasses (it was about 1530 PDT), I thought back to the training I had been undergoing...
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