In this question I asked about the pilot's ability to give a signal to others nearby while on the ground. My question here is, if someone else wants to get the pilot's attention on the ground, could the pilot hear someone honking a car horn from the cockpit?

Edit: thanks for all comments. I want to ask about a situation involved large aircraft, engine running, car is near the aircraft. Such as in large airport operation. My question comes from series Ultimate Airport: Dubai when a trainee is driven to different areas of airport as part of his certification. I wonder if he can call attention of pilot in cockpit by honking the horn. I am aware that more standard mode of communication such as radio, flare or ground marshall is preferable.

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    $\begingroup$ What kind of aircraft and where is it that it needs to hear it? Are the engines running? Where is the car in relation to the aircraft? $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ Large aircraft, engine running, car is near the aircraft. Such as in large airport operation. $\endgroup$
    – vasin1987
    Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 15:04
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    $\begingroup$ I think that's a firm maybe. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 15:41
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    $\begingroup$ Pilots and airport vehicles will probably communicate by radio using the ground frequency. Remember that vehicles are moving under the control of the ground control/tower in large airports. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 15:53
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    $\begingroup$ To continue @RonBeyer's comments: is the engine electric? And what kind of horn? A regular horn is harder to hear than when someone puts a "train horn" on there car. There are... a lot of variables not being accounted for here. $\endgroup$
    – Jae Carr
    Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 17:29

2 Answers 2


Airplane engines are loud, so if they are running I would say no, a pilot is not going to hear a car horn. If you want to get a pilot's attention without a radio you'd use light or hand signals.


A loud air horn might just be audible through all the noise even when taxiing. This thought occurred to me when I thought about how ships use(d) quite similar steam whistles in poor visibility. The sound from waves & ship's engines and the noise reduction from the hull make the sound environment quite similar to a grounded airliner.

Of course in takeoff and landing almost everything is blocked by noise from the engine, tyres etc.


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