Dressed in hot pink shirts decorated with their team name "Fly Girls," 20 women who usually staff the ramp for American Airlines gripped the rope, crouched into the ready position and waited for the cue to start pulling.
Attached to the rope? A 92,500-pound American Airlines Airbus 319 jet.
Normally these women would be directing the plane, loading or unloading baggage and helping the aircraft back away from the gate. But on Thursday morning, when the siren sounded, the women strode backward in unity, pulling the plane the full 15 feet in just 8.76 seconds.
The Fly Girls were one of 35 teams who competed in American Airlines' annual Jet Pull, a contest to see which team can pull the jet 15 feet the fastest.
For more stories that matter: Click here to subscribe to azcentral.com.
"We did 8.15 seconds so we're not in the lead but it is good enough," said John Daley, managing director for American Airlines in Phoenix, after his team completed the pull.
The Jet Pull is organized by the airline's Abilities Employee Business Group, which looks for ways to best serve customers with disabilities. Each team pays $200 for the chance to compete, and proceeds benefit The Arc of Arizona.
The Arc advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
The contest included employees of American, Delta and Southwest airlines.
"We sponsor it and obviously host it but it is open to all of our other airlines here at Sky Harbor," Daley said.
Daley said employees of the aviation department and city of Phoenix also take part.
"It's our third year of doing the Jet Pull and it has gotten bigger every year," said Jon Meyers, executive director of The Arc of Arizona. "It makes an enormous difference for us financially. It raises money to help support our work and it's just downright fun."
Meyers said the money will help will civil-rights advocacy and education efforts and systems to support people with intellectual disabilities.
American Airlines and The Arc also partner on an event called Wings for Autism, which gives children who have autism the chance to practice going to the airport, going through security and boarding a plane.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: American Airlines employees pull 92,500-pound plane for charity