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Clicking On The Runway Lights At A Small Airport  
User currently offlineLenbrazil From Brazil, joined Apr 2006, 114 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 11367 times:

I’m researching a crash of a King Air 100A as it approached a small airport (Eveleth, MN), there were no survivors or black boxes. The plane crashed a few minutes after its last radio communication with the control tower (Duluth), there was no distress call. It was also reported that one of the pilots “clicked on” the runway lights by keying the mike switch twice.

I know very little about aviation so please bear with what might seem like obvious questions and don’t presume I understand any terminology I don’t use.

1) Is it normal to turn on the runway lights for a daytime landing with decent visibility (4 -5 miles below the 700ft agl cloud cover)?

2) At what stage in a flight would a pilot normally turn the lights on, before of after spotting the runway? Might a pilot turn on the lights if they were having difficulty locating the airport (the pilot had only flown to that airport 3 or 4 times, there were problems with the VOR and the plane was about 7 degrees off track).

3) I assume that in order to “click on” the runway lights at Eveleth Airport one of the pilots would have to have switched the radio which had previously been set for the Duluth tower to Eveleth’s frequency, is that correct?

Thanks in advance,

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRoadrunner165 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 876 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 11328 times:

Are you referring to the plane crash that killed Paul Wellstone?
BTW- I am not a pilot so my answers may not be correct.


1. There is no such thing as a normal landing. Each landing presents its own challenges.  Smile I don't think I would consider 4-5 miles visibility with the ceilings at 700ft agl a normal daytime landing, Yes I would turn the runway lights on, seems to be a fairly standard practice.

2. Sometimes you need to turn the runway lights on in order to see the runway. Remember, runways don't always stick out like a sore thumb, especially with low ceilings.

3. Yes, typically to turn the runway lights on you turn to the local frequency and key the mic... at least that's what I was told.


Not sure if my response help but at least I can say I tried  Smile

Adam


User currently offlineCorey07850 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2528 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 11302 times:

Quoting Lenbrazil (Thread starter):


1) Is it normal to turn on the runway lights for a daytime landing with decent visibility (4 -5 miles below the 700ft agl cloud cover)?

If you have good visibility and you are under the cloud layer then there really isn't a need... They would be on a non-precision approach that "should" take them to around 400-700 feet agl, so the lights probably wouldn't be much help as it is daytime.

Quoting Lenbrazil (Thread starter):


2) At what stage in a flight would a pilot normally turn the lights on, before of after spotting the runway? Might a pilot turn on the lights if they were having difficulty locating the airport (the pilot had only flown to that airport 3 or 4 times, there were problems with the VOR and the plane was about 7 degrees off track).

In my experience, you normally click the lights on around 5 or so miles out as you are maneuvering for the traffic pattern. If it is at night, and the lights are out, there really isn't much of a chance to see the runway, so yes you would turn the lights on before spotting the runway. The airport beacon would be on to help you find the airport, then you click the lights on to orient yourself to the runways. If you were unfamiliar with the area and can't find the airport I would definitely have the lights on the highest intensity.

Quoting Lenbrazil (Thread starter):

3) I assume that in order to “click on” the runway lights at Eveleth Airport one of the pilots would have to have switched the radio which had previously been set for the Duluth tower to Eveleth’s frequency, is that correct?

I assume the plane took off from Duluth and was landing at EVM? If that's the case, then yes, the pilots would have to change frequencies. They would probably not have been on Duluth Tower, but Duluth Approach/Departure....After Departure set them up for the approach into EVM they would be advised to change frequencies to the EVM CTAF. CTAF is the frequency that aircraft make their radio calls at uncontrolled fields so other planes in the pattern know what's going on. This same frequency is used to turn on or off the runway lightst... In reality they should have been on EVM's freq for a few minutes making radio calls as well as turning the lights on as necessary. If you are insinuating that they lost situational awareness or something as they were in the midst of changing freq's, that probably isn't the case, but that's just my opinion


User currently offlineHighFlyer9790 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 11220 times:

Quoting Lenbrazil (Thread starter):
1) Is it normal to turn on the runway lights for a daytime landing with decent visibility (4 -5 miles below the 700ft agl cloud cover)?

Not nesessarily the runway lights, but at our airport the VASI lights are operated by click too.

Quoting Lenbrazil (Thread starter):
2) At what stage in a flight would a pilot normally turn the lights on, before of after spotting the runway? Might a pilot turn on the lights if they were having difficulty locating the airport (the pilot had only flown to that airport 3 or 4 times, there were problems with the VOR and the plane was about 7 degrees off track).

at night, land airports have a rotating whit-green beacon. once the pilot find the visinity of the airport, they'll click the lights on. usually its 3 clicks in 3 secs=low intensity, 5 clicks in 5 secs=med inensity, 7 clicks in 7 secs is high intensity. i dont know exactly what the distance is but it is usually once the whit-green beacon is in sight.

Quoting Lenbrazil (Thread starter):
3) I assume that in order to “click on” the runway lights at Eveleth Airport one of the pilots would have to have switched the radio which had previously been set for the Duluth tower to Eveleth’s frequency, is that correct?

the lights are connectted to the airport frequency.

hope it helps!
highflyer



121
User currently offline777WT From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 877 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 11210 times:

I was on a private pilot flight returning from a group fly in at night, upon arriving at HPN, there was 2 Cessna 172's in front of me in the traffic pattern to landing. I was the 3rd in line.

The first one clicked and the runway lights came on, then the second one landed.
When it was my time, I landed and the second I touched down, the runway lights all went off and all I had on was my taxing light.
Spooked me a bit thinking I was at a ghost airport.


User currently offlineLenbrazil From Brazil, joined Apr 2006, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11076 times:

Quoting Roadrunner165 (Reply 1):
Are you referring to the plane crash that killed Paul Wellstone?

Yes

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 2):
I assume the plane took off from Duluth and was landing at EVM? If that's the case, then yes, the pilots would have to change frequencies. They would probably not have been on Duluth Tower, but Duluth Approach/Departure....After Departure set them up for the approach into EVM they would be advised to change frequencies to the EVM CTAF. CTAF is the frequency that aircraft make their radio calls at uncontrolled fields so other planes in the pattern know what's going on. This same frequency is used to turn on or off the runway lights... In reality they should have been on EVM's freq for a few minutes making radio calls as well as turning the lights on as necessary.

No the plane took off from an airport in the Twin Cities. IIRC they communicated with ATC in STP and at some point switched to Duluth. Duluth advised them to turn late and they never were on the correct approach path.

The last communication between the co-pilot (who was handling communications AND possibly flying) was "At 10:19:12, the controller stated, "King Air one-bravo-echo, change to advisory frequency approved; advise cancellation of IFR with the Princeton flight service when on the ground." The copilot acknowledged the instruction."

1) I assume "change to advisory frequency" means change to EVM's frequency (CTAF?)

2) The Duluth tower it seems expected no further communication till after landing.

The plane crashed 2 minutes later (10:21) after bleeding airspeed so I assume that after signing off the co-pilot clicked on the lights and at some point after that who ever was flying lost control.

Quote:
If you are insinuating that they lost situational awareness or something as they were in the midst of changing freq's, that probably isn't the case, but that's just my opinion

I am not insinuating that. A CTist makes a big deal about the lack of a distress call. As it turns out the only person working at EVM that morning said he left the office to fix something outside. So if there was a distress call it's likely no one heard it unless one of the pilots had the presence of mind to switch the radio to another frequency. In any case I found multiple cases of crashes when there were 2 - 3 pilots in the cockpit and no distress call was made.

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 2):
If you have good visibility and you are under the cloud layer then there really isn't a need... They would be on a non-precision approach that "should" take them to around 400-700 feet agl, so the lights probably wouldn't be much help as it is daytime.

But they did click the lights on, so I'll rephrase the question, "If a pilot clicks on the runway lights for a daytime landing with reasonable visibility (4 - 5 miles below 700 ft agl), does that indicate he is having trouble finding the airport?"


User currently offlineRoadrunner165 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 876 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 11024 times:

This is just my opinion....

If I remember correctly the the cause of the crash that killed Senator Paul Wellstone was due to the pilots inability to maintain altitude (Ice if I remember correctly), not that they could not find the runway.

I would assume** the reason for no distress call was because a fall from 700ft to ground level probably took less than a minute if your wings are all iced up, don't you drop like a stone? The pilots were probably trying to regain control the aircraft instead of one pilot flying and one operating the radio. This is what happens when you have inexperienced pilots in the cockpit. Chaos panic disorder. The investigation found that one of the pilots had logged false hours into his log book.

As for your question, I would think it would be normal to turn on the runway lights if the cloud ceiling is 700agl. Also keep in mind it may have been standard operating procedure for that charter company to land with the runway lights on whether in good or bad weather. I don't think your going to get a yes or no answer to your question.


Someone please correct me if I'm wrong  Smile

Adam


User currently offlineLenbrazil From Brazil, joined Apr 2006, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 10916 times:

Quoting Roadrunner165 (Reply 6):
If I remember correctly the the cause of the crash that killed Senator Paul Wellstone was due to the pilots inability to maintain altitude (Ice if I remember correctly), not that they could not find the runway.

Icing was ruled out as a signifincant factor. The plane stalled for reasons unknown, which the CT like to make a big deal about but in a crash with no survivors or black boxes or distess call or obvious cause (weather mechanical) all that's left is speculation

Quoting Roadrunner165 (Reply 6):
This is what happens when you have inexperienced pilots in the cockpit. Chaos panic disorder. The investigation found that one of the pilots had logged false hours into his log book.

There were all sorts of problems with both pilots. Richard Conry, the PIC, told a close friend a few months before he had diffficulty flying King Airs esp. taking off and landing. He normally let his co-pilots fly and there were various reports of screw-ups and near crashes and incorrectly set VOR's etc. A collegue suggested he retire after an incident a few days earlier. He lied about his previous experience and faked his log books etc. He claimed to have 5116 hours but probably had 2000 - 3000 all but 600 of those before a 12 hiatus due to poor eye sight and a prison stint. He had lasik surgury and by the time of the crash he vision had improved but he probably wasn't wearing contacts as mandated by the FAA. He had shown signs of being fatigued all week, the day before he got a call at 1:30 AM to do a last minute flight he looked so bad some of the passengers were afraid to go near him and he only went to bed around 10 11pm that night. He passed his flight check a few day's earlier but significantly didn't react fast enough to recover from a simulated stall.

Michael Guess, the co-pilot, had only 700 hours there were also various report of his deficiencies esp. with take off and landings. He had been fired from both of his previous piloting jobs for incompetence. Conry's wife said he told her the other pilots at the charter company thought Guess was a poor pilot. Interestingly he held a office job at Pan Am flight school and he accidentally left out disks of a 747 flight program that Zacarias Moussaoui copied to his laptop

The NTSB detemined they had poorly set up their approach coming in too high and to fast having to quickly lose speed and altitude. This coupled with less than perfect weather and being off course probably distracted who ever was flying to the point the forgot about their airspeed


User currently offlineSLUAviator From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 357 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 10897 times:

Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 3):
Not nesessarily the runway lights, but at our airport the VASI lights are operated by click too.

At most airports, the lights on the main runway are always on when the airport beacon is on (sunset-sunrise), and the clicking only changes the intensity. At some, all of the lights except the beacon are off and clicking turns them on. That includes runway, PAPI/VASIs, and approach lights. It all depends on how the airport has the lights set up, I have flown into both.

Quoting Lenbrazil (Reply 5):
1) I assume "change to advisory frequency" means change to EVM's frequency (CTAF?)

Yes.

Quoting Lenbrazil (Reply 5):
2) The Duluth tower it seems expected no further communication till after landing.

By telling the plane to switch to advisory frequency and close their IFR flight plan with the FSS on the ground says the Duluth tower expects NO more communication from the plane if they land. The only time the plane would talk to Duluth again is if they go missed approach. This is normal for operating IFR into a non-towerd field.

Quoting Lenbrazil (Reply 5):
But they did click the lights on, so I'll rephrase the question, "If a pilot clicks on the runway lights for a daytime landing with reasonable visibility (4 - 5 miles below 700 ft agl), does that indicate he is having trouble finding the airport?"

Towered airports turn the lights on whenever the weather goes IFR. Many non-towered airports have the lights set to photo-electric cells. If the light goes below a certain level the lights go on, just like street lights--or when the clouds are low and light is not getting through. 700ft AGL and 4-5 miles is IFR weather so there is a good chance the lights were on. Runway lights are not the easiest to see if you are more then a couple of miles out (unless the airport is all by itself in the middle of nowhere), so I don't know how well clicking the lights up would help in finding the airport.

Lights on during they day does help. When I was working on my instrument rating, I flew into ALN when the weather was 800 OVC, 3/4 sm vis and fog. The tower had the lights on, and coming down the glideslope, we could see the approach lights and runway long before we ever broke out. I have to admit, after all the training under the foggles, actually finding the runway where the needles say it is in IMC is really cool!



What do I know? I just fly 'em.......
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6407 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 10885 times:

Quoting Lenbrazil (Thread starter):
1) Is it normal to turn on the runway lights for a daytime landing with decent visibility (4 -5 miles below the 700ft agl cloud cover)?

Not for VFR work. But as stated by others, at many airports, the VASI/PAPI/other glideslope visual indicator is often tied in with the runway lights (this drives me nuts at my home field of UAO, having to turn on all the runway lights during the day just to get the VASI!).

Quoting Lenbrazil (Thread starter):
2) At what stage in a flight would a pilot normally turn the lights on, before of after spotting the runway? Might a pilot turn on the lights if they were having difficulty locating the airport (the pilot had only flown to that airport 3 or 4 times, there were problems with the VOR and the plane was about 7 degrees off track).

Well, on an instrument approach, the lights would be a required part of the approach...if, for example, you cannot see the airport, but you see the lighting system, you are then allowed to descend to within 100 feet of the runway touchdown zone elevation. Not activating the lights would be very poor practice, at least...it might even be illegal, because as stated before, the lighting system is considered a component that has to be operational during the approach. Most airports have a 10-minute timer on the runway lighting system activation, so the best place to turn them on would be after passing the FAF (Final Approach Fix) and before the MAP (Missed Approach Point). This should definitely have been part of their checklist for the approach.

Quoting Lenbrazil (Thread starter):
3) I assume that in order to “click on” the runway lights at Eveleth Airport one of the pilots would have to have switched the radio which had previously been set for the Duluth tower to Eveleth’s frequency, is that correct?

Probably, however some airports have a discrete frequency for light activation (and I don't know without looking at the FAA Airport/Facility directory for the region), although the vast majority of uncontrolled fields activate the lights on the CTAF ("Unicom") frequency. The King Air most likely had dual communications radios, so good practice would have been to set up the CTAF frequency at the uncontrolled field in the second radio, and "flip" the switches (to make the 2nd radio "hot") over when Approach/center announced to the flight that radar contact was lost, and that a frequency change to the CTAF (Common Traffic Advisory Frequency) at the destination airport was approved.



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5427 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 10871 times:

Quoting 777WT (Reply 4):
The first one clicked and the runway lights came on, then the second one landed.
When it was my time, I landed and the second I touched down, the runway lights all went off and all I had on was my taxing light.

That's why you should always click the lights on again, even though they are already on, when you are downwind or thereabouts - then you get another 15mins.

Quoting SLUAviator (Reply 8):
At most airports, the lights on the main runway are always on when the airport beacon is on (sunset-sunrise), and the clicking only changes the intensity.

Probably not most although it would seem so. At most small non-towered aiports, or airports with part-time ATC, probably the majority of airports in the USA, the runway lights are not usually on, even though the beacon is.

edited to add: Take that back. You are right. most are on dusk-dawn. I should have check my file of 20,000 airports before I posted  Smile


Jimbo

[Edited 2006-04-13 00:18:15]


I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineLenbrazil From Brazil, joined Apr 2006, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 10713 times:

It turns out that in adddition to clicking on the runway lights the co-pilot spoke to the only person at the Eveleth airport. He went outside to do some work, so if a distress call had been made on EVM's frequency no one would have heard it.

People have suggested that the plane would probably have two radios even though the FAA only required one. If they had two how likely was it that one was still on the Duluth frequency? How likely is it that one of the pilot's would have had the presence of mind to SOS Duluth as well?


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6407 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 10708 times:

Quoting Lenbrazil (Reply 11):
If they had two how likely was it that one was still on the Duluth frequency?

Yeah, but the pilots would have probably had to flip the "XMIT" or equivalent switch on the aircraft's audio panel to transmit on the other radio...when and if they recognized the stall that augered the aircraft in, they would have had their hands full trying to fly ("Aviate") rather than worry about letting someone know about their predicament. One thing that was drilled into my mind while flight training was "Aviate, Navigate, Communicate" (in that order!). Remember, airplanes fly because of Bernoulli, not Marconi.



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineLenbrazil From Brazil, joined Apr 2006, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 10578 times:

I think everyone agrees with my view that:

1) The pilots were unlikely to have made a distress call esp. since they didn't have CRM training, had only 4 flights together and both had been known to be deficient pilots esp. during landings. A pilot on another forum suggests they might even have been at odds desperately trying to save the plane but in different ways.

2) IF they had made an SOS no one would have heard it because the only person at EVM went outside. Since they didn't know that there was no one to hear them at EVM it is highly unlikely either one would have had the presence of mind (let alone the time) to switch to another (Duluth's) frequency and issue another SOS

Any disagreement?

According to the last radar return they were at 76 KCAS and 440 feet AGL, the crash was determined to have fallen at a 26 degree downward angle, about how much time did they have? Free fall time would have been 5.2 - 5.3 seconds but I doubt it would have fallen that quickly

http://www.ntsb.gov/Events/2003/Evel...ard_Meeting_IIC.ppt#316,1,Aviation Charter King Air A100, N41BE (slide 27 ground level was 1361 feet above sea level - this is the same file as the pdf page I posted above but it is smaller and opens a lot faster).

If anyone is interested in reading the final report it can be found at:
http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2003/AAR0303.pdf

Most of the supplemental reports can be found here but many of the links don't work.
http://www.startribune.com/style/news/politics/wellstone/ntsb/

[Edited 2006-04-14 15:21:15]

User currently offlineLenbrazil From Brazil, joined Apr 2006, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 10570 times:

If the link for the ppt file above doesn't work for you try

ntsb.gov/Events/2003/Eveleth/Eveleth_Board_Meeting_IIC.ppt#316,1,Aviation Charter King Air A100, N41BE

add www IF your browser requires it.

Why isn't UBB code working?

[Edited 2006-04-14 15:05:41]

[Edited 2006-04-14 15:10:22]

User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21675 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 10567 times:

Quoting Lenbrazil (Thread starter):
1) Is it normal to turn on the runway lights for a daytime landing with decent visibility (4 -5 miles below the 700ft agl cloud cover)?

If it were me, I'd turn them on.

Quoting Lenbrazil (Thread starter):
2) At what stage in a flight would a pilot normally turn the lights on, before of after spotting the runway? Might a pilot turn on the lights if they were having difficulty locating the airport (the pilot had only flown to that airport 3 or 4 times, there were problems with the VOR and the plane was about 7 degrees off track).

I generally turn the lights on either at the final approach fix, or when turning inbound after a proceedure turn. Part of the before landing checklist at non-towered airports.

Quoting Lenbrazil (Reply 5):
1) I assume "change to advisory frequency" means change to EVM's frequency (CTAF?)

2) The Duluth tower it seems expected no further communication till after landing.

Yes to both. ATC may not have radar coverage down to the ground at non-towered airports, so they just tell the pilot to change to the CTAF. Once on the ground, the pilot has to get a hold of ATC somehow to let them know that he's landed - no other IFR flights can enter the airspace around the airport until he does so. Generally, this is done with a phone call to a Flight Service Station.

Quoting Lenbrazil (Reply 5):
"If a pilot clicks on the runway lights for a daytime landing with reasonable visibility (4 - 5 miles below 700 ft agl), does that indicate he is having trouble finding the airport?"

Not necessarily, it could just be normal proceedure. If they were repeatedly clicking on the lights, then it might.

Quoting Lenbrazil (Reply 13):
2) IF they had made an SOS no one would have heard it because the only person at EVM went outside. Since they didn't know that there was no one to hear them at EVM it is highly unlikely either one would have had the presence of mind (let alone the time) to switch to another (Duluth's) frequency and issue another SOS

If I made an SOS call and nobody answered, I would make another one on 121.50 (worldwide emergency frequency). That is, of course, if I wasn't too busy - making an SOS call is pretty damn useless if you lose control of the plane while doing so, especially at low altitude.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineLenbrazil From Brazil, joined Apr 2006, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 10452 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 15):
If I made an SOS call and nobody answered, I would make another one on 121.50 (worldwide emergency frequency). That is, of course, if I wasn't too busy - making an SOS call is pretty damn useless if you lose control of the plane while doing so, especially at low altitude

And if you had the time. Let's imagine a best case scenario, one pilot is trying to save the plane and the other is try to get help by making a mayday call on the EVM frequency. After a few seconds he doesn't get an answer and despite facing imminent is calm enough to figure out no one is there and then has the presence of mind to switch the radio back to Duluth's frequency or to 121.50 (assuming he would remember that) and make a second SOS call. Would there have been enough time for that sequence to play out?

As stated above the plane was at 76 KCAS and 440' AGL and hit the ground at a 26 degree angle. The NTSB determined the propellers were working because of tree strikes and were in the "flight idle" position and the flaps were at 15 degrees, the landing gears had been lowered. Free fall time would have been 5.2 seconds (actually a little less the tree were about 40 - 50' tall in the area IIRC). Anyone want to speculate how long it took for the plane to hit the ground (or tree tops)?

Len


User currently offlineLenbrazil From Brazil, joined Apr 2006, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 10331 times:

On another forum where I brought this up I got the following response:

"No, they were on Unicom channel, as all aircraft are supposed to be in the
vicinity of an uncontrolled airport. They were merely broadcasting in the
blind for the information of any other aircraft in the vicinity. The
transmission was a routine safety call to whomever it might concern, if
anybody, and had nothing whatever to do with the airport office or manager."

The person who wrote it is a retired USAF pilot/Lt. Col. who lives in the area (Duluth) I'm not sure about his civil aviation experience. What he says contradicts several of you who said they would have been on Eveleth's CTAF.

Too me as a layman it doesn't make sense, if they were on Unicom at the time wouldn't they have clicked on the lights at every uncontrolled airport in range? Wouldn't this cause confusion if planes were trying to land at more than one airport in range?

Len


User currently offlineLenbrazil From Brazil, joined Apr 2006, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 10226 times:

I did some Googling and it appears to me that CTAF and Unicom atleast for EVM and a few other airports I looked are the same. Is there any difference?

I also discovered that 9 other airports in the state have the same frequency.

1. KBRD BRAINERD LAKES RGNL BRAINERD MN
2. KDYT SKY HARBOR DULUTH MN
3. KAUM AUSTIN MUNI AUSTIN MN
4. KD41 STEPHEN MUNI STEPHEN MN
5. KOWA OWATONNA DEGNER RGNL OWATONNA MN
6. KCKN CROOKSTON MUNI KIRKWOOD FLD CROOKSTON MN
7. KLYV QUENTIN AANENSON FIELD LUVERNE MN
8. KMKT MANKATO REGIONAL MANKATO MN
9. KSGS SOUTH ST. PAUL MUN.-FLEMING SOUTH ST ...

Were these other airports in range of the King Air? If so why didn't their "clicking the mic" turn on the lights at the other airports? Wouldn't this cause confusion if planes wanted to land at few of these airports at the same time? How likely is it that no one would have herd the plane's SOS IF they made one?

Len

[Edited 2006-04-16 22:48:33]

User currently offlineILCFII From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 39 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 10201 times:

If the field is reporting IFR I would always turn on the aircraft lights. At airports with pilot controlled lighting, once the lights are activated they run on a timer for approximately 15 minutes. Standard procedure for an approach recommends the pilot turn on the lights at the final approach fix (point where you start your final descent to landing). Normally, it does not take more than 15 minutes to shoot an approach so the lights should still be on when you break out of the clouds.

To turn on the lights pilots normally are taught to key the mic 7 times to turn on the lights to the highest sensitivity. If a pilot wants to adjust the lights to a lower intensity they can key the mic 3 or 5 times. That is the reason why you may hear pilots keying the mic a number of times. If I were the pilot shooting the approach I would want the lights at highest sensitivity. The only time I turn the lights lower is at night in VMC conditions.

ILCFII


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Anyone Heard Anything On The FA Strike At UA? posted Mon Jul 4 2005 22:04:09 by Brucek
Dogs On The Runway! posted Thu Feb 10 2005 17:47:28 by HR001
A/C Type Names On The Runway? posted Mon Oct 11 2004 22:29:34 by LY7E7
Sitting On The Runway...Zzz posted Fri Sep 10 2004 22:04:10 by Aa777jr
What Is The Runway Length At STI? posted Tue Apr 13 2004 21:50:42 by JumboJet
Any Updates On The Hangar Collapse At IAD? posted Tue Apr 20 2010 18:48:59 by N92R03
The New Terminal At Vnukovo Airport posted Tue Mar 2 2010 19:07:34 by DELTAJFK
Possible Security Risk At Small Airport posted Mon Nov 24 2008 05:57:52 by LH526
A Man On The Runway Was Hit By An Airplane posted Mon Apr 14 2008 18:18:01 by RvA340
WN8502 KSEA-KPAE On The Departure Board At SEA posted Thu Jan 10 2008 14:32:23 by ASMVPGOLD
Any New Updates On The North Terminal At DTW? posted Fri Nov 16 2007 12:03:57 by JetBlueGuy2006
Chinese Standing Up In Planes On The Runway posted Mon Oct 22 2007 18:01:59 by UAL747
OA Jet On Full Power While Not On The Runway posted Mon May 7 2007 12:11:21 by EL-AL