On a commercial airliner, it’s the flight attendants who are usually seen most often by passengers. The pilots, they’re the one who often get the glory. But, it’s the ground crews who really get things moving. Literally, as they’re the ones who physically get the aircraft out of the gate area come departure time.
They’re often heard more than seen. The aviation version of unseen forces going bump, thump and bang in the night (or day as well). In this case, those bumps and bangs usually indicate baggage as it’s loaded into the aircraft underbelly. Still, the ground crews are ghosts often seen on the periphery—a blurred movement shuffling just out of sight.
They re-fuel the aircraft and load supplies. They load and unload baggage, transfer paperwork and direct pilots into the gate area along with a myriad of other tasks. It’s a highly choreographed, frenetic dance to watch….when it’s seen.
As a passenger, it’s often a limited view, even from a window seat. The viewing area from gate opens that up slightly, but there’s still a spatial separation and distance from the dance. These images are representative of that aspect, having been made from only those two locations…the only access available when simply a passenger flying commercially.