There are little buggies that push or pull the large airplanes back and onto the runway. Apparently the force of the air from the engine against the airport building combined with the exorbitant amount of fuel it would burn to drive the plane in reverse on its own power makes buggy transport a necessity in most cases.
I found this out because I happen to know a buggy driver. When not occupied with hustling to get my bikes in order, drive me around to the bike races, and act as Euro team manager/mechanic, Jonas can be found behind the steering wheel of an airplane buggy.
A few days ago, as Jonas and I rode by the Brussels airport we passed a few small groups of folks sitting outside the airport fence with binoculars and cameras in hand to plane-watch.
Considering Jonas is practically inside the belly of a plane a couple of days a week for his part-time job, I wondered if he found it odd that people would drive many kilometers just to stand outside in freezing weather so they can catch a mere glimpse of a plane flying overhead. It turns out that many people would kill to have the close-up view of planes that just happens to be part of Jonas' job.
I'm not into planes, but I was curious to know what it is like to see airplanes from a buggy perspective. So I asked him to take a few photos with his cell phone next time he's at work.
Here are the photos he took:
I especially loved the one with his legs resting on the buggy window - a very cyclist thing to do!