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Although uncertain as to the meaning of 'reverse bay', the flight crew thought the term was used to indicate the method of positioning the aircraft on the bay. Any uncertainty about the reverse manoeuvre should have been resolved by the crew before the aircraft was reversed.

The stop signal used by the marshaller was ambiguous as the arms were repeatedly crossed at chest height and not over the head. The operator's ground handling manuals included information that the use of marshalling bats would minimise the risk of misidentification. The opportunity for any misinterpretation of the stop signal used may have been minimised if marshalling bats had been used in this instance.

The intervention of the off-duty marshaller was timely and appropriate. Had he not taken this action, it is likely that the aircraft would have collided with the terminal building. The crew's uncertainty with parking on a reverse bay, and the marshaller's use of an unfamiliar hand signal combined to create doubt in the minds of the crew as to what the marshaller's intentions were.

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