Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Transferrable Skills

I overheard some ramp workers talking the other day about the skills and knowledge they were developing about the insides of cargo holds and how to cram the most stuff in them.

"Your first day doing this, you wish you'd played Tetris more. And then you know you've been on the ramp too long when a new type of airplane you've never seen taxies up and the first thing you think about is 'I wonder what its cargo hold looks like'."

Me, I sometimes wonder why the area that we park, service and load airplanes is called 'the ramp' when it's flat. Everywhere else in my experience a ramp is a sloped surface that allows loads or vehicles to be moved between levels without lifting them.

Posts are going to get short and sketchy, or like this, some generic pre-written entries, as I prepare to leave, and travel afar. I'll keep lots of notes and try to keep you updated.


Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if the aerodrome ramp is a carryover from the horse&buggy days, or the trucking days, when some sort of inclined earthen facility was used -- that's where the carts/trucks were parked, and the ramped earth was used to get the goods up tot he flatbed?

Maybe you should submit the question to Balderdash?

Clear skies.

arf68 said...

I just looked ramp up in the dictionary, which states that the ramp is "a movable staircase that passengers use to board or leave an aircraft." I wonder if the name for the object itself somehow shifted to mean the whole area?? I will now need to look that up in the Oxford English Dictionary, which will provide the etymology of the word--provide the history of usage--so one might be able to find out how and why usage has changed.

Jeangenie said...

Airport recognition isn't always straightforward - or could it only happen in Ireland? ;)