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Landing Lights On And Off In Cruise  
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20347 posts, RR: 59
Posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6269 times:

So I just flew a red-eye, NW 722, a 752, from SFO to DTW. I noticed that during cruise, the landing lights on the wings turned on for a second or so and then turned back off. I noticed this about 3 times during the flight, although I wasn't watching the whole time.

It wasn't an automated flash-on/flash-off. It was like someone in the cockpit turned them on for a second...and then turned them back off.

I've never seen the outside lights get turned on in flight other than ascent and descent. Any idea why this might have happened?

39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9118 posts, RR: 76
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6267 times:
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Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
It wasn't an automated flash-on/flash-off. It was like someone in the cockpit turned them on for a second...and then turned them back off.



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
've never seen the outside lights get turned on in flight other than ascent and descent. Any idea why this might have happened?

We do that from time to time to greet other airplane which are close to us. Switch them on for a couple of seconds and then swtich them off again. Just greeting the other crew in a dark night  Smile

wilco737



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20347 posts, RR: 59
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6238 times:



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 1):

We do that from time to time to greet other airplane which are close to us. Switch them on for a couple of seconds and then swtich them off again. Just greeting the other crew in a dark night Smile

Ahh. Well, that makes perfect sense! Thanks!


User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9118 posts, RR: 76
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6239 times:
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Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
hh. Well, that makes perfect sense! Thanks!

Sometimes the answer is pretty easy Big grin
But we got an information from our technical department to not doing it because it is not good for the lights. It is very cold up there and when you switch them on they heat up in splitseconds and cool down again very suddenly again when switching them off and that reduces their lifetime...

wilco737



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6213 times:



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 1):

We do that from time to time to greet other airplane which are close to us.

Sounds about right. I'd do that too when doing night cross countries. Kinda like truckers flashing lights at each other  cool 


User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9118 posts, RR: 76
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6181 times:
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Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 4):
Kinda like truckers flashing lights at each other   

Exactly. But some guys just ignore it, or they are sleeping or just not paying attention  Smile

wilco737



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offline9VSIO From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 726 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6098 times:
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What about checking to see if you are in cloud?


Me: (Lining up on final) I shall now select an aiming point. || Instructor: Well, I hope it's the runway...
User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9118 posts, RR: 76
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6081 times:
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Quoting 9VSIO (Reply 6):
What about checking to see if you are in cloud?

Yes, an option to. But usually the strobes can tell you if you are in the clouds. I usually see the strobes all the way to the cockpit flashing, so that is usually hint enough. If not: switch on the landing lights. But on the MD11 I use the runway turnoff lights as they are more shining to the right and to the left and easier to see then if you are in the clouds.


wilco737



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6066 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
Ahh. Well, that makes perfect sense! Thanks!

It's also known as see and be seen....... It helps the crews better spot eachother



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6054 times:

We always use the runway turnoff lights, never the ldg lights.

User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20347 posts, RR: 59
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 6013 times:



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 8):

It's also known as see and be seen....... It helps the crews better spot eachother

Isn't that what the blinky lights all over the plane are for?  duck 


User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9118 posts, RR: 76
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5955 times:
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Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 9):
We always use the runway turnoff lights, never the ldg lights.

Yeah, the landing lights are so loud when they extend  crazy 

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 10):
Isn't that what the blinky lights all over the plane are for?   

 laughing  Yes, but those landing lights are so bright that you can spot the other a lot easier...

wilco737



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5952 times:



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 4):

Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 1):

We do that from time to time to greet other airplane which are close to us.

Sounds about right. I'd do that too when doing night cross countries. Kinda like truckers flashing lights at each other

I've done it in GA planes. It's kind of halfway between a courtesy and a safety of flight issue...the lights definitely make sure that the other guy sees you.

Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 9):
We always use the runway turnoff lights, never the ldg lights.

On older Boeings, didn't the landing lights actually retract and extend from one of the flap track "canoes?" As I recall, extending them while in cruise might cause a slight buffet...



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9118 posts, RR: 76
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5947 times:
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Quoting KELPkid (Reply 12):
On older Boeings, didn't the landing lights actually retract and extend from one of the flap track "canoes?" As I recall, extending them while in cruise might cause a slight buffet...

On the MD11 they are left and right on the forward fuselage and when they extend it will be pretty loud in the cockpit.
On the old 737s I flew where they were located in the flaps cones, then you really felt something. That's why we had them retracted at higher speeds and only extented and on during approach.

wilco737



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5903 times:



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 13):
On the old 737s I flew where they were located in the flaps cones, then you really felt something. That's why we had them retracted at higher speeds and only extented and on during approach

Amazing mechanism to maintain Straight Illumination Irrespective of TE Flap position.But susceptable to cracks & FOD.

The square threaded screwjack was quite effective,but if it jams or motor siezes.Lights Cannot be driven back flush manually....So off to the CDL with a load penalty for despatch.

regds
MEL.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20347 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5742 times:

Actually, let me quickly see if I know my lights. I was on a 752. The lights that were going on and off were on the leading edge of the wing, inboard of the engine. Those are landing lights, right?

Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 13):
On the old 737s I flew where they were located in the flaps cones, then you really felt something.

I've noticed those on Classics. It seems like it takes a good 2 minutes for them to extend all the way.


User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5731 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 15):
s that were going on and off were on the leading edge of the wing, inboard of the engine. Those are landing lights, right?

Yep.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5616 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 15):
I've noticed those on Classics. It seems like it takes a good 2 minutes for them to extend all the way.

2 mins is too long.30secs seems more accurate.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 15):

Actually, let me quickly see if I know my lights. I was on a 752. The lights that were going on and off were on the leading edge of the wing, inboard of the engine. Those are landing lights, right?

True.

regds
MEL.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offline113312 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 576 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5567 times:

In many planes, it's actually the Runway Turnoff lights and not the actual Landing Lights. Reason: On many aircraft types the "Landing Lights" are fared and have motors to extend them into position when turned on. The Runway Turnoff lights are usually installed in the wing leading edge near the body of the plane and point outward to an angle forward. These are fixed behind a clear window and can be seen at a great distance on a clear night.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5517 times:



Quoting 113312 (Reply 18):
The Runway Turnoff lights are usually installed in the wing leading edge near the body of the plane and point outward to an angle forward. These are fixed behind a clear window and can be seen at a great distance on a clear night.



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 15):
I was on a 752

Not on a B757.The Runway turnoff Lights are on The NLG.
regds
MEL.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineKimberlyrj From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2008, 385 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5379 times:

Hello all

I have noticed that on some flights normally where we are near the start of the NAT at night time heading eastbound our pilots sometimes leave landing lights on for hours at a time, is this a case of there are a lot of aircraft out there and they wanted us to be seen?

Also, is it F/D procedure to turn on external lights, landing, logo etc if in a TCAS situation? Surely you would want every possible light on, every little helps?

I only get to play around with the cabin lighting  Sad

KimberlyRJ


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5375 times:



Quoting Kimberlyrj (Reply 20):
I have noticed that on some flights normally where we are near the start of the NAT at night time heading eastbound our pilots sometimes leave landing lights on for hours at a time, is this a case of there are a lot of aircraft out there and they wanted us to be seen?

Never heard of that. The tracks are one way. We are the guys normally going against the tracks which puts us on a random route away from or under the NAT.

Quoting Kimberlyrj (Reply 20):
is it F/D procedure to turn on external lights, landing, logo etc if in a TCAS situation? Surely you would want every possible light on, every little helps?

A Resolution Advisory is an immediate action procedure and you won't take time to turn on any lights. Following the TCAS guidance is the only priority.


User currently offlineBarney Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 998 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5367 times:



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 13):
On the old 737s I flew where they were located in the flaps cones, then you really felt something. That's why we had them retracted at higher speeds and only extented and on during approach.

On the classic 737 (at least all the ones I've seen) there are 2 sets of landing lights. One retractable on the flap canoe's (as indicated) but also a set of fixed inboard landing lights co-located with the runway turn-off lights at the wing root.



...from the Banana Republic....
User currently offlineAerdingus From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 2860 posts, RR: 15
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5356 times:

Very cool thread, I love how something as amazing as an aircraft can come down to the same level as your car, flashing the lights, or waving over the steering wheel!  Smile


Cabin crew blog http://dolefuldolegirl.blogspot.ie/
User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4700 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5310 times:

Maybe not closely on topic, but are there circumstances where it is acceptable to turn off the strobes at night?
Let's say you're flying SCL-AKL and within a 1000nm radius, there's no other aircraft around you and you want to enjoy the sight of the stars without being bothered by the strobes...



Exceptions confirm the rule.
25 AirframeAS : The wingstrobes, no, unless you're going through a cloud where you need to pay attention and actually be able to see. But I have seen the bottom anti
26 TheGreatChecko : Yes. When you are IMC and the strobes are bothering the pilots, they are often turned off, or if the aircraft has the option, like the Q400, one can
27 9VSIO : Isn't that just the beacon though?
28 JohnClipper : When I flew SQ EWR-SIN nonstop back in 2007, the pilot turned on all outside lights over Iraq and Afghanistan...see and be seen?
29 TheGreatChecko : I've always wondered the same thing. However, it's certified with the switch saying its a red "strobe" and it does flash. So, really, I have no clue.
30 DAL7e7 : Could one of these be the taxi light and not quite as bright as the regular landing light? War Eagle! Trey
31 AirframeAS : No, the taxi light is on the NLG on the 737's.
32 Kimberlyrj : After speaking with a pilot from work they confirmed that they would activate the external lights, I put to him that does so could slow their respons
33 CosmicCruiser : If that's their SOP fine however here's an excerpt from another SOP " immediate compliance with RA vertical guidance manuvers is MANDATORY and takes
34 DocLightning : Can you show me a picture?
35 Post contains links and images 413x3 : I believe right here, below the front door View Large View MediumPhoto © Antoine Cascail
36 DashTrash : The earlier Dashes have a single anti-collision light switch which selects between red or white. Red is the flashing beacon on the top of the tail, w
37 TimePilot : I would've guessed that maybe the pilot was high-beaming a slower plane in front of him I have a related question: at what altitude are landing lights
38 FX772LRF : FL100 after departure. Turned back on when descending through FL100 also. I'm also pretty sure this is when F/A's are released from their jumpseats.
39 FlyingColours : That depends on the airline and/or the country of registration. On Icelandic aircraft we were released at FL100 and back in our seats by then, on UK
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