Page 1 of 1

No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:36 pm
by richiemo
Gang, was departing CLT last night on 36R in an American A319. I was sitting behind the wing. On takeoff, it appeared the pilot didn't turn on the strobes at the end of the wing. While I couldn't see the actual strobes from my seat, I should have seen the bright flashes on the ground, cause it was dark. And I didn't. I somehow remember posting here a year or so back that I watched planes depart CLT once without strobes. Is that possible? I thought strobes were a requirement on takeoff. But I'm sure I would have seen them reflecting on the ground. Thoughts?

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:43 pm
by N628AU
I’m assuming you were on an Airbus? L-US (don’t know about AA) Airbus has a ground switch. The strobes come on once the gear leaves the ground. Helps the pilots with night vision so the flash doesn’t flare off the ground back into the flight deck.

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:43 pm
by SierraPacific
I believe that if it is foggy that the strobes can be left off since it can be blinding or annoying. The Airbus also has a feature on the strobes which activates them when airborne which may have been the case here.

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:46 pm
by Longhornmaniac
We're not required to have them on in cases where it could hinder visibility. It's also just a courtesy to your fellow pilots not to turn in bright flashing white lights that can ruin night vision. They don't serve much purpose on the ground, we have other lights for that.

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:31 am
by sccutler
Longhornmaniac wrote:
We're not required to have them on in cases where it could hinder visibility. It's also just a courtesy to your fellow pilots not to turn in bright flashing white lights that can ruin night vision. They don't serve much purpose on the ground, we have other lights for that.


...a courtesy unknown in Cirrus circles.

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:35 am
by kabq737
sccutler wrote:
Longhornmaniac wrote:
We're not required to have them on in cases where it could hinder visibility. It's also just a courtesy to your fellow pilots not to turn in bright flashing white lights that can ruin night vision. They don't serve much purpose on the ground, we have other lights for that.


...a courtesy unknown in Cirrus circles.

Haha thanks for the laugh! They really do love to show off those LEDs don't they?

Anyway I would go with the other posters here in the idea that it is either an Airbus feature or a courtesy move by the pilots...or both...

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:40 am
by jetBlue
The strobe light switches on the AA Airbuses have 3 positions. OFF/AUTO/ON. In Auto mode, they illuminate upon liftoff and turn back off at touchdown. Normally, they are left in the auto position.

jetBlue

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:41 am
by sixtyseven
Could be burned out on one side as well. They’re not required

Could have forgotten to turn them on.

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:12 am
by richiemo
I'm stunned at this. All my years following this industry....I thought strobes were critical not only for being seen in-flight for for indicating you were on take-off roll or landing roll-out, vs. just taxiing. I'd swear on most flights I take at night that I always see the strobes on takeoff and landing (till plane exits runway. I was on a legacy American (AW) A319 (IAE engines) if that matters. Again, as someone said here, maybe an airline-specific rule.

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:50 am
by ricpeterson
richiemo, as others have said, on the Airbuses in the Auto position the strobes come on when airborne and turn off at landing. You can set them manually on or off at any time also. Don't know about newer Boeing (777,787) but on older Boeings this is a manual only switch. Generally Boeing crews turn them on for takeoff, but will leave them off if they can blind other crews waiting for takeoff. We are allowed to turn them off in clouds as they can be a distraction, we also turn them on crossing runways at night or in low visibility. Keep in mind at ATC controlled airports we already are aware if there is traffic on or crossing runways etc. Strobes are an aid but rarely the last line of defense.

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:29 am
by crownvic
richiemo wrote:
I'm stunned at this. All my years following this industry....I thought strobes were critical not only for being seen in-flight for for indicating you were on take-off roll or landing roll-out, vs. just taxiing. I'd swear on most flights I take at night that I always see the strobes on takeoff and landing (till plane exits runway. I was on a legacy American (AW) A319 (IAE engines) if that matters. Again, as someone said here, maybe an airline-specific rule.


All through the strobe "era", which I consider to be the 1970s - 2015, most airliners that pulled onto an active runway had to engage the wing tip strobe lights. Not as a pilot, but as a plane spotter, I probably watched 1000s of take offs over my years by a perimeter fence, where this was S.O.P. . Aircraft like the L-1011 and DC-10 were the first airliners with wing tip strobe lights. Then the 727 Advanced had a remarkable wing tip strobe light system that seemed to be an "orchestra" of lights. Some of the most intense strobe lighting was the incredible MD-11. When the MD-11 entered the runway, the combination of the retractable nose lights and the high powered wing tip lighting, could not be mistaken. There was a point in time, I could identify every airliner in the night sky landing and taking off, just by their lights. Unfortunately, Airbus pretty much ruined this when they began putting similar wing tip lighting on on nearly their entire line of aircraft (A318, 319, 320, 321, 330 and 340).

My guess is, it was an FAA requirement to engage these lights for many years, when entering an active runway. My thoughts now are, this procedure was dropped in recent years. Perhaps the blinding effect on other pilots outweighed the safety aspects of turning the lights on when entering a runway for take off. I know some old school airline captains and I will ask them their opinions on the subject.

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:07 am
by 747Whale
Generally the lights are turned on when entering the runway environment, or crossing a runway.

I turn on every light on the aircraft when crossing a runway. When taking off, the convention is to light everything up except the landing lights; those are illuminated when the takeoff clearance is received. If we are instructed to cross a runway while an aircraft is holding in position waiting to takeoff, the aircraft holding in position will leave his landing lights off until cleared for takeoff. When those lights come on, it signifies to everyone downrange that he's about to roll.

Strobes are normally illuminated on the runway. I want to be seen; I want aircraft approaching to land to see me and I want aircraft that might be crossing the runway to see me.

The Airbus has the option of lights which illuminate based on ground logic; the lights come on when the aircraft is airborne, or they can be illuminated manually.

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:49 am
by stratosphere
747Whale wrote:
Generally the lights are turned on when entering the runway environment, or crossing a runway.

I turn on every light on the aircraft when crossing a runway. When taking off, the convention is to light everything up except the landing lights; those are illuminated when the takeoff clearance is received. If we are instructed to cross a runway while an aircraft is holding in position waiting to takeoff, the aircraft holding in position will leave his landing lights off until cleared for takeoff. When those lights come on, it signifies to everyone downrange that he's about to roll.

Strobes are normally illuminated on the runway. I want to be seen; I want aircraft approaching to land to see me and I want aircraft that might be crossing the runway to see me.

The Airbus has the option of lights which illuminate based on ground logic; the lights come on when the aircraft is airborne, or they can be illuminated manually.


^^^ This^^ There are different airplanes that have strobes the DC-9 later series the -50 and -80 it was ground logic at liftoff they would activate and at touchdown they would shut down. The Airbus like the others have said it is pilot choice if in the auto position it will operate much like the MD-80 but pilots have the choice to select them on and most other aircraft they can select them on at any time.

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:11 am
by Max Q
Always turn on strobe lights when cleared onto the runway for take off or crossing an active runway



It’s our policy and most important
you want to be highly visible to all other aircraft and ground vehicles



I don’t buy the ‘blinding’ other pilots argument, if these strobes are too bright, dont look at them


You want to be as conspicuous as possible when you’re on an active runway, that takes priority.

Re: No Strobes in CLT?

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:54 am
by CLTRampRat
I saw this thread a couple of days ago and went back to work and asked my coworkers if they had ever noticed it. We all agreed we never paid attention.

After a few days of watching I can say that Americans Airbuses don’t use strobes on take off while Frontiers and Deltas do.

Interesting.