Gingersnap
Posts: 823
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No External Lights On At Night?

Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:18 pm

Hi guys and girls.
I'm a first time poster, and a long time lurker so it's finally great to be part of this wonderful site.

The past two nights, i've observed two seperate U2 A319s pass overhead my house at roughly 2200 (same time both nights) without any external lights on whatsoever (and it's pretty dark here at this time in Glasgow).

What does baffle me however, was upon turning final for rwy 23 at GLA (both times), both aircraft lit up like a christmas tree. The main difference was last night the cabin lights were able to be seen quite prominantly but there were no external lights on at all.
However, as mentioned as soon as both aircraft turned finals, the Nav, Beacon, Strobe & Landing lights were all 'switched' on.

Any ideas as to what may have been going on the past two nights, with these (possibly the same) aircraft?

Many thanks, and again great to be part of this site.
Matt
Flown on: A306 A319/20/21 A332 B732/3/4/5/7/8 B742/4 B752 B762/3 B772/W C152 E195 F70/100 MD-82 Q400
 
shamrock321
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:55 pm

Ive never seen this beofre, sureley the NAV and strobe lights should be on all the time? I seen a ZB A320 land in DUB tonight with no landing lights, they were quickly turned on after touchdown!
 
Gingersnap
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 pm

Quoting shamrock321 (Reply 1):
ve never seen this beofre, sureley the NAV and strobe lights should be on all the time? I seen a ZB A320 land in DUB tonight with no landing lights, they were quickly turned on after touchdown!

I'm with you in that i'd have thought that also. But on both occasions, there were no NAV, strobe, beacon or landing lights present (just before turning finals).
Flown on: A306 A319/20/21 A332 B732/3/4/5/7/8 B742/4 B752 B762/3 B772/W C152 E195 F70/100 MD-82 Q400
 
tpa36r
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:10 pm

Quoting GingerSnap (Thread starter):

I'm not familiar with Airbus' lighting system however I know on many aircraft nav and strobes are very directional (lateral and above). That doesn't explain the beacon being off but its a start.

It could be SOP of some sort with the airline or maybe a "keep the peace" measure with the locals near the airport (maybe a measure of a out of sight, out of mind thing?).

[Edited 2010-08-29 15:11:02]
 
Gingersnap
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:14 pm

Quoting TPA36R (Reply 3):
I'm not familiar with Airbus' lighting system however I know on many aircraft nav and strobes are very directional (lateral and above). That doesn't explain the beacon being off but its a start.

Sorry I should have clarified that the external lights have been quite visible on other aircraft, but it is an interesting suggestion.
In the night sky, you could have barely make out the aircraft which one would think to be a safety hazard (light pollution of course being a factor obviously).

Thanks for the quick replies thus far however.
Flown on: A306 A319/20/21 A332 B732/3/4/5/7/8 B742/4 B752 B762/3 B772/W C152 E195 F70/100 MD-82 Q400
 
tdscanuck
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:58 pm

Quoting GingerSnap (Reply 4):
In the night sky, you could have barely make out the aircraft which one would think to be a safety hazard (light pollution of course being a factor obviously).

It's obviously a good idea to be visible, but if you're IFR then ATC is responsible for maintaining safe separation.

The pilot is still responsible for safe operation of the aircraft but, at least in theory, not being visible isn't an inherent hazard for some kinds of IFR flying.

Tom.
 
freeze3192
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:19 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 5):
It's obviously a good idea to be visible, but if you're IFR then ATC is responsible for maintaining safe separation.

The pilot is still responsible for safe operation of the aircraft but, at least in theory, not being visible isn't an inherent hazard for some kinds of IFR flying.

Tom.

In the US, if you're IFR and in VMC you're still responsible for the "see and be seen" concept.
"A passenger bets his life that his pilot is a worthy heir to an ancient tradition of excellence and professionalism."
 
vikkyvik
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:45 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 5):
It's obviously a good idea to be visible, but if you're IFR then ATC is responsible for maintaining safe separation.

The pilot is still responsible for safe operation of the aircraft but, at least in theory, not being visible isn't an inherent hazard for some kinds of IFR flying.

Would the lights still be required to be on per regulation, though? Even if the pilots aren't responsible for separation?
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bri2k1
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:31 pm

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 7):

Yes, I think so. I know it is under Part 91, and I would be shocked if any 135 or 121 operations manual was approved with less stringent requirements than these:

Quoting FAR Part 91 Section 209:
No person may:

(a) During the period from sunset to sunrise (or, in Alaska, during the period a prominent unlighted object cannot be seen from a distance of 3 statute miles or the sun is more than 6 degrees below the horizon) --

(1) Operate an aircraft unless it has lighted position lights;

(2) Park or move an aircraft in, or in dangerous proximity to, a night flight operations area of an airport unless the aircraft --

(i) Is clearly illuminated;

(ii) Has lighted position lights; or

(iii) is in an area that is marked by obstruction lights;

...

or
(b) Operate an aircraft that is equipped with an anticollision light system, unless it has lighted anticollision lights. However, the anticollision lights need not be lighted when the pilot-in-command determines that, because of operating conditions, it would be in the interest of safety to turn the lights off.

The last point is referring mainly to the use of strobe lights in clouds or fog when the reflection from the bright flashes cause temporary night blindness. A lot of newer GA aircraft are eliminating the red beacon and just using wingtip strobes as anticollision lights, and in a number of conditions it's safer to switch them off. I can't determine from the information given so far why a pilot might think it is in the interest of safety to switch off all exterior lights. Below 10,000 MSL, most pilots would like to light up as brightly as possible to aid identification and separation, particularly IFR-VFR separation.
Position and hold
 
YWG
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:38 pm

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 7):
Would the lights still be required to be on per regulation, though? Even if the pilots aren't responsible for separation?

In Canada it's against the CARS not to have the lights on during night ops.
Contact Winnipeg center now on 134.4, good day.
 
kimberlyRJ
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:59 pm

Hey hey

I am not aware of any ‘formal’ rules but I am sure there must be! I have never seen an aircraft at night which has had no lights on at all... I have seen aircraft look as if there are no lights on and then when the aircraft turns or the angle changes you can then see the light, often just nav.

Sometimes when the ‘logo’, ‘wing’ and cabin lights are off it can make the aircraft look very dark indeed, I think with all of those lights off it’s hard to tell which way or at what angle the aircraft is at.

Kimberly
 
tdscanuck
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:19 pm

Quoting kimberlyrj (Reply 10):
I have never seen an aircraft at night which has had no lights on at all...

How would you?

Tom.
 
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zeke
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:18 am

Quoting GingerSnap (Thread starter):

Any ideas as to what may have been going on the past two nights, with these (possibly the same) aircraft?

Logo lights on Airbus aircraft I am familiar with only come on if the gear is compressed (i.e. on the ground) and/or flaps are extended. Manoeuvring for an approach it is possible that they flaps were not extended, and the aircraft was flying ‘clean’.

Nav lights are only visible though a selected arc in relation to the aircraft, so other pilots can judge which way the aircraft is travelling.
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HAWK21M
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:34 pm

Out here Position & navigation lights should be functional before an Aircraft is considered Airworthy.
Unless there was a snag enroute,but why twice is surprising.
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
CanadianNorth
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RE: No External Lights On At Night?

Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:52 pm

From the Canadian Aviation Regulations ...

"605.17 (1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall operate an aircraft in the air or on the ground at night, or on water between sunset and sunrise, unless the aircraft position lights and anti-collision lights are turned on."

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviatio...erv/cars/part6-605-2438.htm#605_16



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