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When an airliner is on the ground, does it have a way of making a noise that can be heard by other people on the ground? Something like a car horn?

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    $\begingroup$ @mins But they still have to taxi in and out of areas where there are technicians, baggage handlers, ground vehicles, etc. Although I guess visibility wouldn't be much of an issue. $\endgroup$ – isanae Dec 3 '16 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ @isanae The solution to most of this is radios (like staying in touch with ground), having flashing lights and, well, just being a really big and loud jet. The Gimlee glider was a special case, since the runway had been closed for quite some time, and was only being used because it was an emergency. $\endgroup$ – Jay Carr Dec 3 '16 at 0:20
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    $\begingroup$ I realize that you asked about airliners, but the same question comes up for light aircraft, and some people have suggested carrying an air horn for use in the case of engine failure. There's at least one aviation-specific product. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Dec 3 '16 at 0:59
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    $\begingroup$ @jamesqf I'd say in the case of a double engine flameout, a 767 side-slipping towards a runway at 500 feet is going to be pretty sneaky. $\endgroup$ – isanae Dec 3 '16 at 7:43
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    $\begingroup$ @jamesqf My question isn't about making noise in the air, it's about making noise on the ground, which ymb1 has answered satisfactorily below. $\endgroup$ – isanae Dec 3 '16 at 18:59
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enter image description here
(Source) Ground call horn.

There's a horn the pilots can sound to attract the attention of the ground engineer, so they can talk on the intercom (by wearing a headset). It's not loud enough to have any effect in the air—or when the engines are running loudly.

It's more of an annoying alarm really.

Taxi lights can be flashed on/off to attract the attention of ground crew, also opening a window and waving would work.

enter image description here
(Source)

enter image description here
(Source) Ground crew member wearing a headset connected to the plane.

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  • $\begingroup$ So there's an open-air intercom near the wheel? You could communicate with the cockpit without a headset? $\endgroup$ – isanae Dec 3 '16 at 0:44
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    $\begingroup$ @isanae yes, open a window and shout $\endgroup$ – jwenting Dec 4 '16 at 10:02
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YES, the signalling or warning system aboard an airline could be compared to a horn.

I have seen horns on the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737 which is located on the overhead panel that the pilots use to alert ground crew. In some circles this button is referred to as GND and is used for ground communication.

enter image description here

enter image description here Source: KLM Blog

If engineers on the ground want to contact the pilots in the cockpit they can do so via a button located in a little compartment near the nose wheel at the front of the aircraft. Thereafter,by plugging a headset into this compartment,they can communicate directly with the cockpit. However, not all certified aircraft have this warning system.

The horn is primarily a means of communication, but the aircraft itself can also emit a signal to warn engineers when a system breaks down or when there is fire

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  • $\begingroup$ The KLM blog you linked has a "steamboat" sound and a siren, but I have trouble estimating their loudness. Are they both coming from the nose wheel to tell the engineer to put a headset on, as in ymb1's answer? Or is that something else? $\endgroup$ – isanae Dec 4 '16 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ @isanae In several aircraft there is a little compartment near the nose wheel at the front of the aircraft.Engineers on the ground plug a headset into this compartment in order to communicate with people in the cockpit. The horn is not very loud because it's just a way for the cockpit to gain the attention of ground staff. $\endgroup$ – DSarkar Dec 5 '16 at 10:31
  • $\begingroup$ I understand that. I just wanted to confirm that the "steamboat" sound was also a ground call horn for the engineer, or something different. It appears your answer is very similar to ymb1's. $\endgroup$ – isanae Dec 5 '16 at 14:33

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