Recently while passing near the airport I decided to park my car in front of the runway and wait for any planes that might be landing. Sure enaugh a Dash-8 was on final in no time, but I noticed that the PAPI system was not working in a sence that the lights remained red throughout the approach. Could my car(being metal) somehow confuse the PAPI to think I was an aircraft on the runway instead of traacking the landing a/c?
There are different light signals sent out for whatever altitude you are i.e.: all light signals are being sent out all at the same time, the red signal you were seeing was being displayed to you because you were "low" on the glideslope.
so your saying that while i was seeing all the lights to be red, the landing aircraft was seeing the 2 white/2 red lights indicating to him a propper glideslope at the same time.........how is this possible?
A PAPI has no transmitter or reciever thing. All that it is is just lights that have lenses on them set so when you are on the glide slope it shows the proper red over white indication. Alot of people think there is some sore of radio transmitter or radar involved..but it is just set lenses. Think of each light as a big colored christmas light with two different colors on it.