Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 9065
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

A320 Wingtip strobes

Tue Aug 10, 2021 5:49 am

Watched a Spirit A320 NEO take off recently with its wingtip strobes turned on at the beginning of the take off roll, quite normal


Immediately afterwards a Frontier A320 NEO took off but it’s wingtip strobes only activated after main gear lift off


Assuming this is an Airbus option ?


The wingtip strobes on our MD80’s activated after nosewheel extension, an MD thing and someone’s ‘bright idea’
 
Flow2706
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:20 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Tue Aug 10, 2021 7:45 am

The strobe light switch has three settings: OFF, AUTO and ON. On and Off are self-explanatory, Auto will activate the strobes at lift off. Airbus SOP is to turn on the strobe lights when entering the runway, during ground operations they are left in Auto. Probably the Frontier crew forgot to turn the strobes on, so they automatically activated on lift off.
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 9065
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Wed Aug 11, 2021 5:32 am

Interesting, thanks
 
shamrock137
Posts: 414
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 7:10 am

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Wed Aug 11, 2021 7:19 pm

I forget which airline it was, USAir or America West, but after the merger, and before unified operating procedures, one airlines checklist had strobes to Auto for takeoff, and the others had strobes to ON. If you were really geeky, you could tell which crew was operating the aircraft by watching the wing strobes.
 
ILUV767
Posts: 3057
Joined: Mon May 29, 2000 2:21 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Wed Aug 11, 2021 9:02 pm

Some airlines leave the strobe switch in AUTO all the time. The strobe lights active when there is no longer weight on wheels when in the AUTO position.
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 9065
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Wed Aug 11, 2021 11:39 pm

Never understood why this is a concern, our policy was all exterior lights on when on the runway and strobe lights on when cleared for take off for maximum visibility and other traffic’s awareness


There’s a minority opinion that activating the wingtip strobes on the ground will ‘blind’ other pilots, I’ve never seen this as a problem and if it is an issue then don’t look directly at them
 
Sancho99504
Posts: 758
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:44 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Wed Aug 11, 2021 11:44 pm

shamrock137 wrote:
I forget which airline it was, USAir or America West, but after the merger, and before unified operating procedures, one airlines checklist had strobes to Auto for takeoff, and the others had strobes to ON. If you were really geeky, you could tell which crew was operating the aircraft by watching the wing strobes.

America West was strobes ON
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Posts: 30175
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Sun Aug 15, 2021 11:24 am

Wouldn.t Strobes on prior to T/O be a better option than Auto.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20798
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:44 pm

Max Q wrote:
Never understood why this is a concern, our policy was all exterior lights on when on the runway and strobe lights on when cleared for take off for maximum visibility and other traffic’s awareness


There’s a minority opinion that activating the wingtip strobes on the ground will ‘blind’ other pilots, I’ve never seen this as a problem and if it is an issue then don’t look directly at them


A friend of mine who works Tower told me once that some airlines have "bad strobe discipline". Apparently it can be distracting for the controllers to have aircraft taxiing with strobes on at night.

Perhaps some controllers can chime in.
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 4397
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Sun Aug 15, 2021 1:40 pm

[quote="Starlionblue"A friend of mine who works Tower told me once that some airlines have "bad strobe discipline". Apparently it can be distracting for the controllers to have aircraft taxiing with strobes on at night.

Perhaps some controllers can chime in.[/quote]

The only way I can see strobes being a problem for a tower controller would be IF that tower was on the ground at the runway!! :banghead: Having worked in a tower that was 150' above ground near the runway and then when the new tower was built some 340' tall about 1/4 mile from any of our runways, no strobes ever impacted the operation at all from either the old or new tower.
 
User avatar
fr8mech
Posts: 8311
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:00 am

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Sun Aug 15, 2021 2:38 pm

Max Q wrote:
Never understood why this is a concern, our policy was all exterior lights on when on the runway and strobe lights on when cleared for take off for maximum visibility and other traffic’s awareness


There’s a minority opinion that activating the wingtip strobes on the ground will ‘blind’ other pilots, I’ve never seen this as a problem and if it is an issue then don’t look directly at them


Is it possible that when there is active precipitation the strobes produce a dazzling effect on a wet windshield?

Our A300’s have the same setup, and I assume the procedure is to leave the switch in AUTO. Occasionally, we’ll have one taxi in with the strobes blasting away. The flight crew would also have a bunch of write-ups that could be traced right back to one of the air-ground switches remaining in AIR.
 
trent768
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:32 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:29 am

Does an activated strobe lights on the ground is a sign that a plane is cleared for take off?

Because I noticed it on 2 occasions:
1. Red-eye CGK-DXB on EK's 77W at 0100. We were the only one taxiing and the pilots turned on the strobe while we were still on the taxiway. Like 80% down the path. We took off right away after entering the runway.

2. I was on the CGK-UPG-BIK-DJJ milk run on SJ's 733 and my UPG-BIK was delayed to accommodate late connecting pax. It was at 0300 and the red-eye rush hour at UPG has ended. The strobe was on right away after we started taxiing. Again, we took off right away with no hold short or power up whatsoever.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20798
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:41 am

trent768 wrote:
Does an activated strobe lights on the ground is a sign that a plane is cleared for take off?

Because I noticed it on 2 occasions:
1. Red-eye CGK-DXB on EK's 77W at 0100. We were the only one taxiing and the pilots turned on the strobe while we were still on the taxiway. Like 80% down the path. We took off right away after entering the runway.

2. I was on the CGK-UPG-BIK-DJJ milk run on SJ's 733 and my UPG-BIK was delayed to accommodate late connecting pax. It was at 0300 and the red-eye rush hour at UPG has ended. The strobe was on right away after we started taxiing. Again, we took off right away with no hold short or power up whatsoever.


It depends on the SOP of the operator, but in our case, we typically don't have the strobes on when not on a runway.

We turn on the strobes when entering a runway and off after vacating. This also applies to crossing a runway or taxiing on a runway.

We turn on the landing lights when cleared for takeoff, if already on the runway or entering it. If we are cleared for takeoff while still on a taxiway, we turn on the landing lights when entering the runway.
 
User avatar
BWIAirport
Posts: 1082
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:29 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Thu Aug 19, 2021 1:04 pm

trent768 wrote:
Does an activated strobe lights on the ground is a sign that a plane is cleared for take off?

Because I noticed it on 2 occasions:
1. Red-eye CGK-DXB on EK's 77W at 0100. We were the only one taxiing and the pilots turned on the strobe while we were still on the taxiway. Like 80% down the path. We took off right away after entering the runway.

2. I was on the CGK-UPG-BIK-DJJ milk run on SJ's 733 and my UPG-BIK was delayed to accommodate late connecting pax. It was at 0300 and the red-eye rush hour at UPG has ended. The strobe was on right away after we started taxiing. Again, we took off right away with no hold short or power up whatsoever.

I was at the Hilton Garden Inn at LHR in Nov 2019 with a runway room, and I noticed that aircraft were turning their strobes on well before entering 27L. I wonder if it's any airline's SOP to turn them on when they receive takeoff clearance, similar to how some airlines wait to turn on the nose gear landing light until after receiving landing clearance, as a sort of failsafe/check item to make sure clearance is received. Listening to LiveATC, it often sounds like takeoff clearance can be given when the aircraft is still far from the runway, so long as there aren't expected to be any obstructions come takeoff time.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20798
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Thu Aug 19, 2021 1:10 pm

You can certainly be cleared for takeoff well before you reach the runway if there is no traffic.
 
Redbellyguppy
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:57 am

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:03 pm

If I choose to exercise courtesy about my strobe usage, it isn’t so much the wingtip strobes I’m being courteous about. It’s the tail strobe, which is right in the face at eye level of the crew behind us.
 
chimborazo
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:51 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Sat Aug 21, 2021 8:18 am

The auto operation of the strobes switch is interesting. I would have thought it mandatory for the strobes to be on any time the aircraft is on/entering an active runway.

Operator specific as noted above but, being interested in flight ops, I’ve often noticed as a passenger, for example, strobes being switched off as we vacate the runway on landing and switched on again as we taxi across another runway to parking.

It all adds to safety- particularly at night/in low vis. Planes - even large commercial ones- are not as easy to see as might be expected in these conditions.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20798
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Sat Aug 21, 2021 9:17 am

chimborazo wrote:
The auto operation of the strobes switch is interesting. I would have thought it mandatory for the strobes to be on any time the aircraft is on/entering an active runway.

Operator specific as noted above but, being interested in flight ops, I’ve often noticed as a passenger, for example, strobes being switched off as we vacate the runway on landing and switched on again as we taxi across another runway to parking.

It all adds to safety- particularly at night/in low vis. Planes - even large commercial ones- are not as easy to see as might be expected in these conditions.


The procedures says to have them on when on a runway, and that's what we adhere to. No one is perfect, however. The AUTO setting as default is an added layer of protection against forgetting them in flight when they're really important.
 
chimborazo
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:51 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Sat Aug 21, 2021 1:10 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
chimborazo wrote:
The auto operation of the strobes switch is interesting. I would have thought it mandatory for the strobes to be on any time the aircraft is on/entering an active runway.

Operator specific as noted above but, being interested in flight ops, I’ve often noticed as a passenger, for example, strobes being switched off as we vacate the runway on landing and switched on again as we taxi across another runway to parking.

It all adds to safety- particularly at night/in low vis. Planes - even large commercial ones- are not as easy to see as might be expected in these conditions.


The procedures says to have them on when on a runway, and that's what we adhere to. No one is perfect, however. The AUTO setting as default is an added layer of protection against forgetting them in flight when they're really important.


Thanks. So I assume the normal procedure to “turn them off”is to put them into auto in case forgotten for next time and the actual off switch is used in cloud for example when strobes can be a pilot hindrance rather than a help.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20798
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: A320 Wingtip strobes

Sat Aug 21, 2021 2:02 pm

chimborazo wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
chimborazo wrote:
The auto operation of the strobes switch is interesting. I would have thought it mandatory for the strobes to be on any time the aircraft is on/entering an active runway.

Operator specific as noted above but, being interested in flight ops, I’ve often noticed as a passenger, for example, strobes being switched off as we vacate the runway on landing and switched on again as we taxi across another runway to parking.

It all adds to safety- particularly at night/in low vis. Planes - even large commercial ones- are not as easy to see as might be expected in these conditions.


The procedures says to have them on when on a runway, and that's what we adhere to. No one is perfect, however. The AUTO setting as default is an added layer of protection against forgetting them in flight when they're really important.


Thanks. So I assume the normal procedure to “turn them off”is to put them into auto in case forgotten for next time and the actual off switch is used in cloud for example when strobes can be a pilot hindrance rather than a help.


Indeed.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: extender and 10 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