If you fly out of a smaller, general aviation airfield, you are probably convinced that you will never be faced with the prospect of following the instructions of the seemingly mute, Visi-vest clad, baton wielding persons called marshalls. However, should you fly into a bigger airport, it is highly likely that you never thought of going over these signals as part of your planning, so we have put together ten of the most common ones, just in case you ever get caught by surprise…


One arm raised straight up, moving sideways left to right.

You may move, follow further guidance by signalman.

Proceed to next signalman

Right or left arm down, other arm moved across the body and extended to indicate direction of next signalman.

Move ahead

Arms a little aside, palms facing backward and repeatedly moved upward-backward from shoulder height.

Left turn

Right arm downward, left arm repeatedly moved upward-backward. Speed of arm indicates rate of turn.

Right turn

Left arm downward, right arm repeatedly moved upward-backward. Speed of arm indicates rate of turn.

Slow down

Arms down with palms towards ground, then moved up and down several times.


Arms repeatedly crossed above head (the faster the arm movement, the more urgent the requirement to stop).

Cut engine

Either arm and hand level with shoulder, hand across throat, palm downward. The hand is moved sideways with the arm remaining bent.

Chocks inserted

Arms down, palms facing inwards, move arms from extended position inwards.

*Crew must acknowledge

Chocks removed

Arms down, palms facing outwards, move arms outwards.

*Crew must acknowledge