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Reading Lights Off For Landing  
User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6020 times:

Hello, I was talking with my mum earlier as she's got back from a trip to the states and said that when they were landing in the evening at LHR not only were the main lights dimmed but she was also told to turn off her reading light. She was annoyed because it was another half hour or so before they landed so she just had to sit there being very bored but also said it was the first time she'd ever been asked to do that in 40+ years of flying.

She was on AA and has been with them before, new company police?

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineaviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1352 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5630 times:

That was some sort of mistake. There is no policy at AA requiring that reading lights be turned off.


Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3813 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5408 times:

Quoting aviateur (Reply 1):
That was some sort of mistake. There is no policy at AA requiring that reading lights be turned off.

It may not be an official AA policy, but I noticed that you answered a similar question at answers.yahoo.com

Why does airplane dim the cabin light on take off, but allow reading light on ?

Quote:
It's for situational awareness. That is, maintaining a sense of which way is up, to expedite escape in the event of an impact or other emergency situation. If the lights were to suddenly go dark, there's a period of visual adjustment that would cost precious seconds. Keeping the shades open is for similar reasons. It allows you to see out, helping with situational awareness, and also lets light into the cabin."

[SNIP]

The reading light illuminates a small area and does not have a large effect, but it would be wise to keep that one off too.

It's primarily about preserving your night vision and to adjust your eyes to the natural light in the event of an emergency.

I'm assuming the same general principle would apply for landing.

LoneStarMike


User currently offlineflyfree727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4724 times:

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 2):
It's primarily about preserving your night vision and to adjust your eyes to the natural light in the event of an emergency.

At AA, the very first step of a planned emergency check list is LIGHTS TO BRIGHT. Day or night, if we were in a "planned" emergency, the lights would be on bright during landing.

AA ORD


User currently offlineEagleboy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1821 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4404 times:
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What if is it was a night emergency landing, would you not want to crew/passengers preserving their night vision for the possible loss of power and the exit into a darked area?

User currently offlineflyfree727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4129 times:

You'd have to ask AA. I just telling you what the policy is.
Whatever procedure is in place is approved by the FAA.
Rules/policies don't always make sense.

AA ORD


User currently offlinewestern727 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 746 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3798 times:

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 3):
Day or night, if we were in a "planned" emergency, the lights would be on bright during landing

Can anyone explain why AA has this supposed policy? This makes no sense to me.



Jack @ AUS
User currently offlinegr8circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3100 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 17 hours ago) and read 3342 times:

Quoting western727 (Reply 6):
Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 3):
Day or night, if we were in a "planned" emergency, the lights would be on bright during landing

Can anyone explain why AA has this supposed policy? This makes no sense to me.

I think what he's saying is that if there is a known emergency situation onboard and the plane is making a planned emergency landing, with help on hand waiting on the runway, then they would have the lights on bright.......but during a routine landing, the lights are dimmed because in the event of an emergency, passengers and crew would have to exit the aircraft into darkness and help may take some time to arrive.....makes sense to me....


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2984 times:

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 2):
The reading light illuminates a small area and does not have a large effect, but it would be wise to keep that one off too.

That is more of an advisory than an actual rule, Mike.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineCRJ200FAGuy From United States of America, joined May 2007, 400 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2765 times:

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 3):
At AA, the very first step of a planned emergency check list is LIGHTS TO BRIGHT. Day or night, if we were in a "planned" emergency, the lights would be on bright during landing.

That's the first step for my airline and most airlines at the first part of a planned emergency. At the end of the checklist, it says to turn the lights back off. You are only turning them on, so people will pay attention and you can secure the cabin.


User currently offlineWestern727 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 746 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2694 times:

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 7):
makes sense to me....

Makes sense to me too. Thanks.



Jack @ AUS
User currently offlineWNcrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1458 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2664 times:

Makes sense to me ONLY If you're going to turn them back off prior to landing. Why would you leave them on bright for a planned emergency at night? If you loose power you're going to send everyone into darkness and their eyes won't be adjusted from the bright of the cabin.

At every carrier I've been with we were to either turn lights off for landing and takeoff, or adjust them to match outside conditions so that when a pax gets to the door they aren't throw into blindness trying to adjust to the outside and causing them to hesitate at the top of the slide.

I can't see any good reason to have lights on bright for a nighttime takeoff or landing.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinejetdudetim From United States of America, joined May 2009, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2664 times:

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 3):
t AA, the very first step of a planned emergency check list is LIGHTS TO BRIGHT. Day or night, if we were in a "planned" emergency, the lights would be on bright during landing.

Actually you might want to read the whole "planned emergency procedure".

The lights are turned to bright to get everyones attention and for the FAs to do the demo and cabin checks The lights get turned off prior to getting into your jumpseats for landing.


User currently offlineflyfree727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2487 times:

Quoting jetdudetim (Reply 12):
Actually you might want to read the whole "planned emergency procedure".

Sitting here with the manual in hand.. there is NO STEP for AA fas to turn the lights off prior to taking jumpseats.
I have a source for my info.. do you?

Step 1
FA 1 obtains TEST info

Step 2

FA 1 adivsed all FA's

STEP 3
Designated FA;s turn entry and cabin lights to BRIGHT

STEP 4

FA 1 makes planned emergency PA
all other fa's demonstrate in aisles per duty assignment chart

STEP 5
Ensure all doors are armed and exits unobstructed

STEP 6
Secure aircraft
clear all cabins of catering items
secure galleys and cabin dividers
lock lavatory doors

STEP 7
Reseat passengers near door exits
reseat family members together, if possible

STEP 8
brief and reseat assistants
refers to duty assignment chart and key briefing points

STEP 9
collect and stow loose items
recruit passenger assistants
refer to duty assignment chart
FA1 collects items from cockpit

STEP 10
Ensure passenger understanding of planned emergency landing PA

STEP 11
All fa's avise fa 1 when checklist is complete
FA 1 advises captain when all f/a checklists are complete

STEP 12
Captain informs fa's to prepare for landing
FA 1 makes prepare for landing PA
All fa;s perform compliance checks and take assigned jumpseats

STEP 13

FO gives brace command 250' above ground
if necessary, fa's repeat "heads down stay down"

STEP 14
Command evacuation , If necessary
or if captain give the designated signal
fa 2 turns on emergency light switch

During recurrent training EVERY YEAR, it is reiterated that the planned check list is followed STEP BY STEP IN ORDER. There is no guess work on the check list. You start at step one, and complete it time permitting. If you only get 4 steps completed before the Capt. says prepare for landing, well then you only do four steps. There is no deviation from the checklist. Again, there is NO PROCEDURE on the check list to turn the cabin lights to dim or off.



AA ORD

[Edited 2010-06-05 19:22:30]

User currently offlinekurbitur From Iceland, joined May 2010, 66 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2440 times:

Ever been driving in the dark and someone in the car with you is searching for something and turns the lights on

You turn the lights off right away because it disturbs you while driving, right?


User currently offlineflyfree727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2425 times:

Quoting kurbitur (Reply 14):
Ever been driving in the dark and someone in the car with you is searching for something and turns the lights on

You turn the lights off right away because it disturbs you while driving, right?

I simply stated what AA's procudures are AND provided a source for my information. Im sorry if there are those that don't like it, but those are AA procedures and have been for the 21 years I have been flying with them.

AA ORD

[Edited 2010-06-05 19:39:13]

User currently offlineWestern727 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 746 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2401 times:

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 15):
AA procedures

I'm curious as to what the benefit of NOT dimming just prior to landing is.



Jack @ AUS
User currently offlineflyfree727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2341 times:

well i dont know but i am taking a guess here.

If the cabing lights are on during landing, and remain on after stopping and an evacuation is commanded, I guess its best to see how to get OUT of the airplane. There is probably far less danger outside the aircraft than there is inside. Fa's asses conditions prior to opening a door, so if external conditions are not favorable (fire, debris, etc) then the FA's will block exit and redirect to alternate exits. Again, the key during an evacuation is to get everyone out of the aircraft. Certainly seems to me this is accomplished more efficiently when people can actually see whats happening inside the cabin to make their way to the exits as opposed to a dark cabin and not being able to see crewmembers instructions (turn around go that way.. use that exit, all said while pointing) Prior to the evacuation, the emergency lights are turned "on" in the event the cabin loses light. . I guess AA's concern here is to allow for the fastest evacuation, which is certainly accomplished with lighting, as oppossed to planning an evacuation based on "situational awareness" once a passenger leaves the aircraft. We have a drill at recurrent training where we are blindfolded, and have to command an evacuation in total darkness.. Its not easy in the dark, so during the confussion of an emergency landing, to have passengers evacuate in dim to no lighting, well would certainly hinder getting everyone off the aircraft. As I said before, if you've just "crash landed or whatever, the goal is to GET OUT. Again, this is my guess and seems to have some logic to it
'
AA ORD

[Edited 2010-06-05 20:09:42]

[Edited 2010-06-05 20:15:26]

[Edited 2010-06-05 20:16:49]

User currently offlineWNcrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1458 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2258 times:

Quoting Western727 (Reply 16):
If the cabing lights are on during landing, and remain on after stopping and an evacuation is commanded, I guess its best to see how to get OUT of the airplane.

I might understand this during daytime, but in an emergency the Captain will more than likely be shutting down aircraft power leaving you only the emergency cabin lighting system, as to have the lights to BRIGHT for a planned night emergency landing just doesn't make sense to me.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineflyfree727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2245 times:

Quoting WNcrew (Reply 18):
as to have the lights to BRIGHT for a planned night emergency landing just doesn't make sense to me.

Are you suggesting it would be easier to evacuate in the dark as opposed to light? I would think BEST CASE scenerio would be the lights are on and passengers are able to see how to get out. I am not sure what the actions are of the pilots. At AA, FA's are authorized to initiate an evacuation prior to receiving the signal from the cockpit, and many times during briefing the capt will state that if we are going to initiate an evacuation to try and contact the cockpit first, because they will be shutting down the engines and positioning the flaps. This doesn not mean they will be shutting down 100% of the power. I'll ask tomorrow during briefing. I still think is best to have every available source offered if you are performing an evacuation. Who really cares thats its dark outside if you die in the aisle because you couldnt see to get to the window exit or door? There seems to be too much focus on what its like outside of the aircraft as opposed to what might be happening on the inside. Now that I have thought it through, I have to say AA got it right on this one. Leave the lights ON.. Give the passengers every chance they have to see to get out. I still think your chances of survival are greater outside of the aircraft rather than stuck inside it.

AA ORD


User currently offlinejetdudetim From United States of America, joined May 2009, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2144 times:

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 13):
Sitting here with the manual in hand.. there is NO STEP for AA fas to turn the lights off prior to taking jumpseats.
I have a source for my info.. do you?

My bad. I was thinking US not AA, sorry. US does turn the lights off.


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