LINE OPERATIONS AND SAFETY
One of the busiest, most important and dangerous
divisions in a squadron is the line division. Upon
reporting to a squadron, no matter your rate or
paygrade, you may be assigned to the line division. As
an Airman, or third class petty officer, you may become
responsibilities in flight operations and the day-to-day
maintenance and upkeep of modern aircraft. You will
be required to operate support equipment (SE), handle,
secure, and service aircraft. You must also be aware of
the related safety precautions to reduce personal injury,
aircraft and equipment damage, and prevent a loss of
operational readiness due to ground accidents. This
chapter outlines some of these crucial factors.
OPERATING EQUIPMENT AROUND
support equipment near or around aircraft, the
safety precautions and hazards involved, and
support equipment color identification.
When mobile equipment is used around aircraft,
certain operating techniques, handling procedures, and
safety precautions are followed to reduce the number of
accidents, to prevent damage to aircraft and equipment,
and to ensure the safety of personnel. The following
operating techniques and handling procedures should
! Vehicles should not pass under any part of a
absolutely necessary, the vehicle must come to
a complete stop and, before proceeding, a
visual check must be made to ensure that
sufficient clearance exists.
! Vehicles carrying passengers must stop only at
the boarding entrance and clear of aircraft
while loading or unloading passengers.
! Riding on fenders, hoods, running boards, or
any place not intended for passengers is strictly
! Personnel involved in the towing of aircraft
must be alert and exercise extreme care.
! Tractor drivers must always maintain a safe
distance from parked aircraft and be on the
alert for movements of other aircraft.
! Motorized vehicles used to service aircraft or
those used near aircraft must be driven or
parked adjacent to aircraft so that inadvertent
movement of the vehicle will not result in a
! When aircraft are serviced, all refueling
vehicles should be parked forward of the
aircraft and parallel to the wing. The refueling
vehicle should be parked at a point as distant
from the aircraft as the length of hose permits,
and preferably to the windward (upwind) side
of the aircraft.
! If it is necessary to park near a parked aircraft,
the hand brake of a motorized vehicle must be
set and the ignition turned off. If the service
being rendered requires running the motor, the
motorized vehicle must be manned.
! The speed limit for operating vehicles on
airfields in the vicinity of aircraft and hangars
(50 feet) is 5 mph.
! On runways, taxiways, parking areas, ramps,
and work areas, the speed limit is 10 mph.
! When aircraft are towed, the towing speed
should never be faster than the slowest person
can walk or exceed 5 miles per hour.
! Sudden starts and stops must be avoided.
Extreme caution must be exercised when an
aircraft is towed over unprepared surfaces or
into or through a congested area.
HAZARDS OF SUPPORT EQUIPMENT (SE)
Tow tractors, electrical power units, hydraulic
jennys, jet aircraft start units, air conditioners, nitrogen
carts, work stands, jacks, floodlight carts and utility
vehicles are mostly big, heavy, clumsy, noisy, and