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Thunderstorm Lights?

Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:59 pm

Being that Nashville had one of those "Laser Light" incidents over the holiday's, the Nashville paper, The Tennessean, has been running stories about this often. In today's edition, on the front page, there was a story titled "Government to give pilots laser advisories."

It gives the incidents, etc... but then gives 4 of the many suggestions given to pilots if they are Lasered, one being "Use thunderstorm lights if night vision is affected."

My question is, what the heck is a Thunderstorm Light? I've not seen that one mentioned here!

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RE: Thunderstorm Lights?

Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:13 pm

>>>It gives the incidents, etc... but then gives 4 of the many suggestions given to pilots if they are Lasered, one being "Use thunderstorm lights if night vision is affected."

I suspect they're referring to the practice of turning up the fluorescent lights underneath the glareshield to make the inside of the cockpit brighter, so one's eyes are already partially adapted to brightness should lightning pop off nearby.
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RE: Thunderstorm Lights?

Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:44 pm

There are no white fluorescent lights under the glareshield of all aircraft (738, MD90, F100 are examples). No AA airplane I've flown had any lighting labeled "thunderstorm" lights. AA 738's have "dome lights" which can be selected to bright, dim, or off illuninating the entire cockpit. In their brightest mode they are not nearly as bright as the USN Hawkeye's "Thunderstorm Lights" which were two white high intensity incandesent flood lights on the cockpit aft bulkheads. To a Navy driver (a peak is worth a thousand words) who likes to look outside one wonders [for about 5 years] what the heck they put those nasty things in the plane for until.... once inside a thunderstorm is enough to last a lifetime. Now I fly planes with radar that can actually see 'em to avoid 'em.  Nuts

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RE: Thunderstorm Lights?

Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:28 pm

There are white flourescent lighting under the glareshield of aircraft like the MD80, MD90, 717, etc...The lights they are referring to are connected to a switch that not only turns on the white flourescents, it turns all of the digital displays (Not PFDs) on full bright and turns on the spotlights for the overhead panel. It makes for a fairly bright cockpit that allows a night blinded pilot to see the instruments. They are designed to reduce the effect lightning would have on night vision and would have the same effect for laser pointers and sights shined into the cockpit.

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