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Alaska Airlines Adding Pulsating Landing Lights?  
User currently offlineRyDawg82 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 864 posts, RR: 8
Posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 8547 times:

Howdy,

I noticed a Alaska Airlines B737-700 landing at DFW the other night with the landing lights pulsating (wig-wag). It was similar to what several classic B737 operators added in the 1990s here in the US -- and can still be seeing on many of the Southwest Airlines classics.

I noticed an article from August 2010 talking about AS doing an evaluation for pulsating landing lights to reduce bird hazards. I take it the evaluation was a success and FAA approval was obtained?

Does anyone have further information on this program? Also, what are the general operating parameters for this system? It appeared that the lights returned to steady on short final.

Thanks,
Ryan


You can take the pup out of Alaska, but you can't take the Alaska out of the pup.
40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineatct From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2293 posts, RR: 38
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 8424 times:

Ive used them a bunch in small planes. As a controller in the tower, they are awesome. Up here in Alaska there is a high percentage of GA planes with such lights and over time I think the mid-air rate up here will diminish. It makes a plane that is hard to see immediately spottable.

atct



"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
User currently offlineRyDawg82 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 864 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 8362 times:

I think the interesting thing is that in the 90's, 737 operators added them to increase visibility to other aircraft. As that article reads, airlines are now adding the pulsating lights to keep birds away.


You can take the pup out of Alaska, but you can't take the Alaska out of the pup.
User currently offlineAlasizon From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 8264 times:

Both AS and QX added these lights to their aircraft for both greater spatial awareness with regards to other operators along with wildlife. PDX and SEA both have large wildlife populations that live around the airport (PDX more so) and as such, these lights are beneficial.


Window seats may be over-rated, but I'll take a window seat on a DC9 anyday
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7575 times:

Quoting RyDawg82 (Thread starter):
I noticed a Alaska Airlines B737-700 landing at DFW the other night with the landing lights pulsating (wig-wag).

Are you sure you did not mistake it for a WN airplane? They are/were famous for those landing lights back in the day.

Quoting RyDawg82 (Thread starter):
I take it the evaluation was a success and FAA approval was obtained?

Why would you need approval is WN has been doing it already?

Quoting RyDawg82 (Thread starter):
It was similar to what several classic B737 operators added in the 1990s here in the US

AFAIK, WN is the only U.S. Carrier that I know of that actually had those landing lights done that way.

Quoting RyDawg82 (Reply 2):
I think the interesting thing is that in the 90's, 737 operators added them to increase visibility to other aircraft. As that article reads, airlines are now adding the pulsating lights to keep birds away.

Got a source to all of that? Because WN is the only 737 operator that I know if that has actually had the lights done that way, as I stated before.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 659 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7494 times:

They have been installed on some of the AS planes for a year or so. They had some issues and were deactivated until a few months ago. Horizon also has pulselites on the Q400's, but I don't know if they are currently activated.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
Why would you need approval is WN has been doing it already?

Because the system AS and QX is using is not the same as WN's. http://preciseflight.com/commercial/


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7478 times:

Quoting yeelep (Reply 5):
Because the system AS and QX is using is not the same as WN's.

So?? Got the FAA docket or the AS application for this, that is if it really does need to be approved for flight?



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlinealggag From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 98 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7412 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
Quoting RyDawg82 (Thread starter):
It was similar to what several classic B737 operators added in the 1990s here in the US

AFAIK, WN is the only U.S. Carrier that I know of that actually had those landing lights done that way.

Why did WN stop doing this? I recall this being kind of a well published thing then it seems like they just stopped doing the conversions all of a sudden. Also, I'm fairly certain that the NGs do not have pulsing lights.


User currently offlinedtwmtx330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7386 times:

i saw a WN 737 (not sure which variant, but i know it wasnt a 700) land a DTW a couple days ago with the pulsating lights under each wing comming out of a flap track fairing.

User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7344 times:

Quoting alggag (Reply 7):

Why did WN stop doing this?

Don't know. Maybe WN thought it was not necessary to use anymore or did not want to adopt the system in their NG's?

I think some of their older -300's still do this.

Quoting alggag (Reply 7):
Also, I'm fairly certain that the NGs do not have pulsing lights.

   I have never, ever seen a 737NG do this either.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 659 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7328 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 6):

I only have the STC # ST11453SE

Quoting dtwmtx330 (Reply 8):
i saw a WN 737 (not sure which variant, but i know it wasnt a 700) land a DTW a couple days ago with the pulsating lights under each wing comming out of a flap track fairing.

That would be a Classic, the NG's don't have any landing lights attached to the flap fairings, only at the wing root and the bottom of the fuselage.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7299 times:

Quoting yeelep (Reply 10):
I only have the STC # ST11453SE

That is not even in the FAA database. I just checked for that. Unless if you wrote down the wrong STC number.....



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineRyDawg82 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 864 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 7057 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
Are you sure you did not mistake it for a WN airplane? They are/were famous for those landing lights back in the day.

I can safely say that I did not mistake an Alaska B737 for a Southwest B733/B735 -- especially considering it was at DFW and the aircraft in question was operating ASA663.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
Why would you need approval is WN has been doing it already?

Again, this was for the classic 737s whereas Alaska is doing this on Next Gen 737s

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
AFAIK, WN is the only U.S. Carrier that I know of that actually had those landing lights done that way.

United Airlines did this in the mid-late 1990s too. Also, Shared Services Aviation who flew Oil charters from Anchorage on B732s had the system installed.

The ultimate difference being, the 1990s experiment was to increase aircraft visibility to other aircraft. Alaska and other airlines (Qantas) are now using such a system to mitigate bird strikes.

Ryan



You can take the pup out of Alaska, but you can't take the Alaska out of the pup.
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 7045 times:

Quoting RyDawg82 (Reply 12):
I can safely say that I did not mistake an Alaska B737 for a Southwest B733/B735 -- especially considering it was at DFW and the aircraft in question was operating ASA663.

Does anyone know if AS sends a 734 to DFW anymore? I thought this route was on a 738.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlinehatbutton From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1500 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6732 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 13):
Does anyone know if AS sends a 734 to DFW anymore? I thought this route was on a 738.

No. According to T100 data the last time a 734 went to DFW was March of 2008.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6701 times:

Quoting hatbutton (Reply 14):
According to T100 data the last time a 734 went to DFW was March of 2008.

So then RyDawg82 confused himself that the aircraft he saw was a different 737 and that was NOT an AS airplane. This is what I thought.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1654 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6566 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 15):
So then RyDawg82 confused himself that the aircraft he saw was a different 737 and that was NOT an AS airplane. This is what I thought.

Or maybe he saw exactly what he thinks he did. Pulselite initial tests were performed on both 734 and 738 aircraft, and the information below is a quote from the Precise Flight website ( http://preciseflight.com/commercial/ ).

Quote:
Alaska Airlines
Alaska commenced a fleet-wide fitment of Pulselite on their Boeing 737 series aircraft in 2010. The system was endorsed by their safety, maintenance & engineering groups, and the senior pilot corps. The cost analysis they performed exceeded their internal criteria warranting fleet-wide implementation. With a business case based on known operating/damage costs and a conservative 25 - 30% bird strike reduction proved by Qantas, Horizon, and USDA research, they successfully demonstrated to management the justification (a less than a 2 year ROI) for installing the system.

In fact, AS has had some 73Gs outfitted and operating with Pulselite for over a year and is making the move fleetwide.


User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8268 posts, RR: 23
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6535 times:

46 times a minute is a lot faster than WN's casual wig-wag...


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User currently offlinehatbutton From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1500 posts, RR: 14
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6428 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 15):
So then RyDawg82 confused himself that the aircraft he saw was a different 737 and that was NOT an AS airplane. This is what I thought.

It feels like you are coming down hard on this thread but I'm not sure why. I'm only confirming that the only airplanes that have been to DFW for AS were NGs. I don't see how someone could confuse an AS 737 with anything else. The livery is pretty distinct. Especially at DFW.


User currently offlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1654 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6302 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 15):
So then RyDawg82 confused himself that the aircraft he saw was a different 737 and that was NOT an AS airplane. This is what I thought.

Here is some pretty strong supporting evidence for the OP's observation; video of an AS 738 at MSP with flashing landing lights. You'll notice the video was posted to youtube almost a year ago on 6 SEPT 2011.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cc_VVnq9yY



[Edited 2012-08-29 20:02:03]

User currently offlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1654 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6213 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 17):

46 times a minute is a lot faster than WN's casual wig-wag...

I think it seems about right to me, that's less than one flash per second.


User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8268 posts, RR: 23
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6162 times:

Quoting steex (Reply 20):
I think it seems about right to me, that's less than one flash per second.

Hmm, I dunno maybe. I'm just imagining them in my head and figured each light probably flashes once every 3 seconds, so more like 20 times a minute, but maybe you're right.



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User currently offline3DoorsDown From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 376 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5614 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 15):
So then RyDawg82 confused himself that the aircraft he saw was a different 737 and that was NOT an AS airplane. This is what I thought.

Airframe, what's up? Why are you harshing on RyDawg. You of all people should know AS livery is nothing like WN. I and RyDawg and probably half the population in the Amazon can tell from 3 miles away that an AS plane is not a WN plane even from the front.

Quoting N766UA (Reply 21):
Hmm, I dunno maybe. I'm just imagining them in my head and figured each light probably flashes once every 3 seconds, so more like 20 times a minute, but maybe you're right.

I've watched a lot of WN planes come in to SEA-TAC and 46 times a minute seems too many. But maybe in all the excitement of another 737 coming in I lose track of time.  


User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8268 posts, RR: 23
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5472 times:

Quoting 3DoorsDown (Reply 22):
But maybe in all the excitement of another 737 coming in I lose track of time.

That must be it. Nothing like having that jet come into view and realizing it's another blue 737…

They're everywhere!!



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User currently offlineRyDawg82 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 864 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5192 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 15):
So then RyDawg82 confused himself that the aircraft he saw was a different 737 and that was NOT an AS airplane. This is what I thought.

Since you would like to go there....I can safely say I saw exactly what I stated above. I can say this as I was the one who cleared said aircraft to land. I would hope I would be able to tell the difference between an Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines aircraft. Further, I would hope I could tell the difference between an B734 and B737.


Thank you for the others who have provided some great information on this program, much appreciated!

[Edited 2012-08-29 21:33:53]


You can take the pup out of Alaska, but you can't take the Alaska out of the pup.
25 Post contains images AirframeAS : That was never the issue. LOL! They're the same airplane, unless you meant 73G, then they're different. Plus, the AS 734 hasn't been flown to DFW sin
26 OB1504 : It depends on whether you're using IATA or ICAO codes. The IATA code for a 737-700 is 73G, but the ICAO code is B737, so he's correct.
27 RyDawg82 : I most certainly meant B737 = B737-700, I have worked the airline side of things and realize what a 73G is. I specifically listed B734 and B737, not
28 jr : I was on one of the 738s that had the pulsating lights just a few weeks back on SEA-DFW. I thought it was strange too and actually took out my camera
29 ZKSUJ : We use it on the Q300s here in NZ. I've been told they reduce bird strikes quite significantly (I can't remember the exact figures but here was a big
30 JoeCanuck : We'll probably see them a lot more with the increasing certification of LED aircraft lights, improving the reliability. They draw significantly less e
31 Post contains links yvphx : Would the LED lights be something simular to what are now on the B788 wintip strobe lighting? I was siting infront of my computer the day it was broad
32 JoeCanuck : I believe the strobes are LED's on the 787. A characteristic of LED's is their abrupt switching, going from on to off to on without fading in or out
33 RyDawg82 : Those strobes may also be seen on the B748. Although, it's interesting that Boeing placed LED strobes in the wingtips, but left the red anti-collision
34 cbphoto : You know, I was sitting in SEA a few years ago and saw an Alaska 737 (not sure if it was a 700 or 800 type) land and taxi off with the landing lights
35 JoeCanuck : I wonder why they'd do that? Maybe LED's aren't quite up to all tasks yet.
36 AirframeAS : Do you have this video up yet??
37 RyDawg82 : -R
38 AirframeAS : Interesting. Thanks, now I am convinced....
39 GSPSPOT : I've only seen this in smaller/corporate a/c. Interesting that commercial a/c would do that... WHY?
40 steex :
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