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Landing Lights: When Do They Have To Be Off?  
User currently offlineAguilo From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 243 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5662 times:

Are there any particular rules for how pilots use their landling lights while on the ground at night? I've noticed that all pilots turn off their front wheel landing lights when they are in line near the runway. Is this so as to make sure that approaching a/c can clearly see where the runway is?

Along the taxiway it seems that some pilots use the front wheel landing light and others just follow the airport lights.

Are aircraft only allowed to have their front wheel landing light on while taxing? Seems that they turn their wing mounted landing lights off during taxi.

Also, anyone know what the rules are regarding the white strobes on the wing tips? Seems that these are only activated on the runway but are quickly turned off elsewhere on the airport. Is this so as not to blind other a/c on the ground?

Interesting that pilots never seem to forget to turn their lights off at night at thr right places.

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMiles_mechanic From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 137 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5615 times:

Hi Aguilo

Well the short answer to your questions is that it is up to the operations people at a particular airline as to when all these things happen as laid out in there checklists, everything gets done in the order the checklists say they should be done. But in general, with my airline the pilots activate the landing lights when approaching an airport when they are below 10,000 ft or 10 miles of an airport. The main reason for shutting off the landing lights as soon as possible is as you mentioned to not blind other aircraft taxiing, or service vehicles, or airport workers on the ground. The same goes for the strobe lights as those white wingtip strobes are very powerful flashes of light, so they can momentarily blind you, and your night vision is not as easily regained as daytime vision. Because of the airport lighting I know at times our pilots will skip even the taxi light if the airport traffic is light and just leave the beacons on as the taxi lights show the roads good, and you won't blind anyone either. But it is a good idea to leave the taxi light on just for safety sake, but always shut it off when approaching smaller aircraft or airport vehicles, or workers on the ramp, so you don't ruin there night vision.

I hope this helps a bit til others with more pilot training can give you a non maintenance view.

Regards
Miles


User currently offlineAguilo From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5597 times:

Excellent answer Miles, very helpful thanks.

BTW - which lights are the "taxi lights' and "beacons" you refer to?

Are there seperate lights on the front landing gear that are used for taxi and are seperate from the lights that are used as landing lights?


User currently offlineN888AS From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5582 times:

Landing Lights - Lights on the front of the wings
Taxi Lights - Lights in front of the landing gear
Beacons - Red Lights that flashes on the top and bottom of the airplane.


User currently offlineAguilo From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5522 times:

thanks N888AS! - thats what I suspected - wanted to be sure

User currently offlineAguilo From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5518 times:

Seeing the Marhsaller

How though is pilot able to tell when to stop when he is parking at the gate? I wouldn't think he could see the Marshaller while at the gate if we are talking about anything larger than a 757?


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5487 times:

How though is pilot able to tell when to stop when he is parking at the gate?

They use orange light wicks (flashlights with orange tops) to marshall in a/c at night. DL uses some sort of a guidence system that is installed on the walls that is some sort of a color code. Green to proceed, yellow to slow down and red to stop immediately. But Im not sure if DL does this at all the stations they fly to. I do know that they do it in PHX, SEA and ATL.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineJetblue15 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 273 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5457 times:

The signal light that airframe is refering to is just like a traffic light. Its only used at those gates in which the pilot would not be able to see the marshall. At Jetblues Terminal which is 6 at jfk, we use the light guide only at 2 gates. 2 and 16.

Also, I don't know if this was disscused, the pilot must alway use the beacon light while the engines are on or the plane is moving. Nav lights are almost always left on.



racecar spelled backwards spells racecar
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5442 times:

the pilot must alway use the beacon light while the engines are on or the plane is moving.

I think this is a F.A.R. and also a safety issue too. Almost all U.S. carriers require the anti-collision lights (red lights) to be on while the a/c is taxiing or having engine run-ups, etc...



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
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