Marshalling Aircraft in Low-Light Conditions

Aviation: Airtanker
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Nov 2020


At times fixed-wing aircraft will land after dark and may require base personnel to marshal them with little or no visibility.

Discuss the low-light operations at your base utilizing the following points.

  • What job aids, equipment, and facilities exist at your base to assist with parking aircraft in low-light conditions?
    • Are the job aids, equipment, and facilities operating correctly and readily available?
  • Equipment failure during low-light operations could be catastrophic. Discuss the base procedures for inspecting low-light equipment.
    • Are ramp radios and headsets ready for extended use?
  • How do low-light conditions affect spatial distortion and distance recognition?
  • What measures can you take to ensure that the aircraft you are guiding is parked exactly where you want it?
  • Identifying the spot where you want the location of the nose wheel can be difficult under low-light conditions.
  • Are there objects that taxiing aircraft might get near which would require additional Fixed Wing Parking Tenders (FWPT)/wing walkers?
  • Have all FWPTs visited all possible off-ramp locations in daylight (day off/maintenance parking) that could potentially be used for low-light parking?
  • Have any of the ramp staff not marshalled aircraft in low-light conditions before?


Additional Resources

Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR)
Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461
NWCG Standards for Helicopter Operations, PMS 510
RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)
Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book)
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

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