workhorse
Topic Author
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:35 pm

beacon and strobe

Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:27 am

1) When do you turn the beacon on? Is it before releasing the brakes (if pushback is required) or before starting the engines?

2) When do you turn the strobe on? Is it when entering the runway or before setting takeoff power?

Of course, I understand that most often events 1a and 1b as well as 2a and 2b appear very close to each other, but still, what is the "official" trigger?
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 11686
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

Re: beacon and strobe

Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:37 am

Up to the company, we do beacon on after pushback clearance is received before completing the before start checklist.

Stobes on whenever entering or crossing a runway.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
Flow2706
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:20 pm

Re: beacon and strobe

Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:06 am

However, especially for the beacon it is very important to turn it on only after all loading etc. is finished as it will otherwise cause the ground staff to stop working and move away (some people used to use the beacon to attract the ramp agents attention, but its now prohibited in most companies as it will cause the ground staff to move away from the aircraft).
 
workhorse
Topic Author
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:35 pm

Re: beacon and strobe

Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:17 am

Thank you very much!

By the way, it has always surprised me that engines are started during pushback. You still have some people around the plane at that time (the tug driver, the wingwalkers...). Also, does that not put additional pressure on the tow bar and the tug?
 
User avatar
Balerit
Posts: 466
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:14 am

Re: beacon and strobe

Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:48 am

The beacon is switched on to show that the engines are going to be started or are already running, that's why everyone moves away. I've noticed since my days at SAA that they seem to use the beacon even when towing to or from the ramp.
Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (retired).
 
CosmicCruiser
Posts: 2138
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:01 am

Re: beacon and strobe

Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:38 pm

as some posted it depends on the airline. Where I was the beacon would be on anytime the jet was moving, even tugged. At the gate when the final wgt & bal was sent we would cal the ramp tower for "beacon" and if cleared for the beacon this signaled tug drivers we were ready for push. In the field clearance to push was the signal for the beacon. Strobes on the runway.
 
User avatar
PowerliftDrsTX
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:51 pm

Re: beacon and strobe

Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:48 pm

workhorse wrote:
1) When do you turn the beacon on? Is it before releasing the brakes (if pushback is required) or before starting the engines?

2) When do you turn the strobe on? Is it when entering the runway or before setting takeoff power?

Of course, I understand that most often events 1a and 1b as well as 2a and 2b appear very close to each other, but still, what is the "official" trigger?



Depends on the carrier and the time of day. Most, if not all will have a beacon on when the aircraft is powered up and especially if an engine start is impending. Strobes, typically when taking the runway or crossing....especially at night when strobes can be a party foul! Same for taxi lights. Typically they go dark when the aircrafts holding short or giving way.

I have found that my beacon/strobe/taxi light habits have transferred to my GA practices as well.
 
User avatar
Horstroad
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:19 pm

Re: beacon and strobe

Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:36 pm

workhorse wrote:
Thank you very much!

By the way, it has always surprised me that engines are started during pushback. You still have some people around the plane at that time (the tug driver, the wingwalkers...). Also, does that not put additional pressure on the tow bar and the tug?

Personnel should be trained and know where it is safe to walk. At idle power it is safe approach the engine from the side (let alone walking at the wing tips) and stand or walk near the nose landing gear.
At my company and airport we don't even have wing walkers. We have the tug driver and a walk-out assistant who is in voice contact with the flight deck and reports when the engines are clear to start, when to set the brakes etc. There are strict rules about where equipment may be parked so wingwalkers are not required for push back or when an aircraft arrives. So far I have not heard of any incidents regarding wing strikes etc. If people are well trained and know what they are doing and why they should be doing it, things just work.

Regarding the tow bar... yes. Especially when it is wet/slippery and depending on the size of the aircraft and tug, the tug might not be able to push the aircraft around the corner. We may start the first engine as soon as we are on the centerline of the taxiway. This generally is not an issue with towbarless tugs, but these rules apply for every pushback.
 
gloom
Posts: 189
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:24 pm

Re: beacon and strobe

Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:21 am

I think even with all those little differences, we all agree that one main reason to have beacon is to show to the outer world (ground staff in general) that the plane is getting started (or is running). So, basically a warning light. Be it a pushback, startup or coming to blocks, it means "move off and be extra careful".

Cheers,
Adam
 
StereoTechque
Posts: 147
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:24 am

Re: beacon and strobe

Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:13 pm

gloom wrote:
I think even with all those little differences, we all agree that one main reason to have beacon is to show to the outer world (ground staff in general) that the plane is getting started (or is running). So, basically a warning light. Be it a pushback, startup or coming to blocks, it means "move off and be extra careful".

Cheers,
Adam

I agree. Adding to the engine starting procedures mentioned above we Mx personnel also switch on beacons in case we are move any Aircraft control surfaces on the stand for operational checks or testing.
Looking California.. Feeling Minnesota.... R. I.P. Chris Cornell...
 
Redbellyguppy
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:57 am

Re: beacon and strobe

Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:26 pm

While most airlines tie out times to brakes off doors closed, I can think of one which ties it to beacon on too (not my airline)...
 
User avatar
Balerit
Posts: 466
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:14 am

Re: beacon and strobe

Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:39 am

I'm not sure of the latest B737's, but on the old ones you couldn't start the engines until the towbar was disconnected or the nose gear was at least pointing straight ahead.
Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (retired).

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Accidentally, Florianopolis, fr8mech, kalvado, RushmoreAir, Tristarsteve and 18 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos