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badderjet

UPDATE: Strobes on or off thread

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The main thread for this discussion is pretty well buried, and it was gaining in length and going OT so I thought I would post a new thread so that users were not misinformed of the rules regarding whether or not strobes were required for daytime, VFR flight.I dont remember how many posts (couldve been 1 or 2 or even 3) were reciting FAR 91.209 which states that no person may operate an aircraft that is equipped with an anticollision light system, unless it has lighted anticollision lights. That same reg goes on to say that the PIC may turn them off when in the best interest of safety.I had never been told this, my instructor had always taught me to just turn on the beacon for daytime VFR operations. This bugged me for the last couple of days because an FAA FSDO resides on the same airport property which I fly and the last thing I want is someone breathing down my neck about strobes which to me seem unnecessary for good visibility flight anyway. So I called my instructor today and told him that we were having this discussion here about whether strobes were to be on or off when entering the active runway during the day. Here is where he pointed me:AIM 4-3-23, part (:(An aircraft anticollision light system can use ONE OR MORE rotating beacons and/or strobe lights, be colored either red or white, and have different (higher than medium) intensities when compared to other aircraft. Many aircraft have both a rotating beacon and a strobe light system.Soooooo....that makes it pretty clear. It amazes me the amount of information that is contained in the FAR/AIM book, and anyone in the simming community that is interested in the real operations of flight in the United States should stop by the local airport or order a copy online....its amazing.Craig

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Here is what Hal Stoen says about the strobes" The strobes were never turned on until rolling down the active runway, just prior to takeoff. And, the strobes were turned off right after clearing the runway after landing. Sit behind an aircraft on the ground with his strobes blinding you and you will understand why."Johnny"I'LL BE BACK"[div align=center]http://www.avsim.com/hangar/fly/josve/fly2/vas.gif][/div

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Hi Johnny, I was referring more to daytime operations. Unless it is IMC the strobes have no blinding effect during the day. I guess I didnt understand why you posted that other than my statement about turning them on when entering the active runway. Sorry if I misunderstood.Craig

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We're taught the turn em on before takeoff, turn em off after clearing the runway. Thats school policy, and we're trained as professionals from day one. So...I guess if we do it, the big boys do it.

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Travis, I dont doubt that ERU teaches its students to use strobes at all times, but as far as the FARs are concerned, its not required. Unless of course you dont have a beacon, then they are. You know, its kind of funny....I had to read those regs a few times, and I find myself having to do that often when "interpreting" the FARs. It seems as though the FAA likes to put alot of catch-all phrases in the book and its kind of hard sometimes to follow the FARs by the letter. By the way, its great that ERU trains its students the way they do, because it would be much harder for its pilots further on down the road when trying to aquire their ATP. Since the beginning I have been trying to set my maximum deviations alot lower than the FAA requires for PPL and instrument (what Im working on now), for instance, if Im allowed 100 feet either way Ill set it at 20 either way. Im not saying that I always do it, but my instructor advised me to do that quite a while ago.Craig

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>Soooooo....that makes it pretty clear. It amazes me the >amount of information that is contained in the FAR/AIM book, >and anyone in the simming community that is interested in >the real operations of flight in the United States should >stop by the local airport or order a copy online....its >amazing. The AIM is available on the FAA website, and so are most of the FARs. Here's the link to the AIM:http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/AIM/index.htm

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I don't know for VFR but for those Boeings and Airbuses, they turn them on before take off and off it after vacate.

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Yes, this is exactly, what Bernt Stolle wrote in the other thread. He turns the strobes on, when entering the active runway before take off and he turns them off after leaving the runway after landing. And since Bernt Stolle is an active captain of a CRJ flying for Lauda Air, which is part of Austrian Airlines, he really should know. And as I understood him there is no differnece between daytime and nighttime operation. He also states, that strobes which are turned on during taxiing can blind the pilots behind and also hide other aircraft.BTW I can't see a reason, why there should be diffenet procedures in this matter for IFR and VFR flights. I thought, to be visible for others is important for both categories, maybe even more important for VFR flyers.Regards,Wolfgang

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Hi Craig,Which are the strobes, which are the beacons? I am getting a bit confused? :-).Perhaps a listing of all type of exterior aircraft lighting and its function would be helpful here(I am concerned with normal operations for commercial passenger jets rather than minimum legal requirements). The ones I know of are the following:1.Type: Flashing red beacons located top and bottom of the fuselage.On: Prior to engine startIn Use: All phases of flightOff: After engine shutdown2. Red/Green navigation lights on the wingtips' leading edge.On:In Use: All phases of flightOff:3. White lights on wingtips' trailing edge and on the vertical stabilizer for visibility. Are these the anti-collision lights? Are these the strobes you refer to?On:?In Use: All phases of flight, day/nightOff:?4. Landing lights located on the wings' inner leading edgeOn: Immediately prior to entering active runway, day/night?In Use: Takeoff, Landing, flight levels below FL10, day/night.Off: When exiting active runway, day/night?5. Taxi lights and runway turnoff lights located on the nose gear.On: Prior to taxi, night.In Use: During taxi, night.Off: All other times6. Emergency lighting for exits and door slides, etcIt's probably enough to say: during emergencies! :-)Can you(or anyone interested)fill in the blanks, and correct errors and omissions, please?Many thanks,Frank

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<>If there are strobe lights on the a/c, they must be used. Section 4-3-23, paragraph b explains what an anticollision light system consists of.If you have a beacon, it must be on. If you have strobes, they must be on. It's not a "you have one, so you don't have to use the other" kinda dealMy response: The FAR's DO require use of strobe lights. They are a part of the anticollision light system.

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>1. >Type: Flashing red beacons located top and bottom of the >fuselage. >On: Prior to engine start >In Use: All phases of flight >Off: After engine shutdown Actually in real life these red beacons are not flashing but rotating (at least on many a/c I have seen) similar to the red lights on a police car.>3. White lights on wingtips' trailing edge and on the >vertical stabilizer for visibility. Are these the >anti-collision lights? Are these the strobes you refer to? >On:? >In Use: All phases of flight, day/night >Off:? Yes, these are the strobes. They should be on from the time of entering the active runway before take off untill leaving the runway after landing. No matter if day or night. This is common procedure at least with commercial airliners IFR flights (read my post # 8)Regards,Wolfgang

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Thanks for information, Wolfgang.Yes, you are, of course, correct about the beacon lights - rotating,not flashing!Frank

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the red beacons on the aircraft my company services all have blinking red lights instead of the rotating ones. A319, A320, ERJ, BAE, 737, and 757.well. the top one may be rotating. i cant see that one. but the one under the bellies blinks

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I'm not completely sure about the technical term but I think that the newer generation red 'rotating beacons' like on our CRJs are strobes as well.At least from the intensity the speed the flash builds it looks that way. They are not only smaller than the old rotating beacons but of course less prone to get stuck ;-)To add to the confusion I remember that when I flew Metro23 it had white rotating beacons like some of the king airs.For operation in europe we had to change them to red. FYI, during daytime I switch the wing/tail strobes ON when cleared to line up and I'm still at the holding point and start moving.During nighttime I even wait until I'm really on the runway to get some distance between me and the succeeding plane.It's the tailstrobe from the preceding aircraft that blinds you.Imagine you are trying to adapt your nightvision for take off and the guy in front flashes your right in your eyes! RegardsBernt Stolle Capt CRJ

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Thanks Bernt(and Ernesto).I checked the other thread "STROBES OFF?? during day? and found a lot of useful information there. I also found this brochure(from aircraft lighting manufacturers, Honeywell) http://www.grimesaero.com/info/literature/ext-2001.pdfand notice that the fuselage lights on the CRJ are referred to as strobes(you'd imagine that Honeywell would know, wouldn't you? :-)).By the way, the word "strobe" is derived from the Greek, strobos, "whirling", so I guess the term can(strictly speaking) be more correctly applied to beacons of the rotating type, than to those of the flashing kind?/FrankPS Irrelevant information: my first encounter with stroboscopic lighting was many years ago in the discotheques I used to frequent as a teenager. The lights were wired to flash in time with the beat of the music, and the effect there was to reduce the (relatively :-)) fluid movements of the dancers to a jerky, snapshot type of motion due to the intermittent illumination.

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Okay Skyy, I just got off the phone with the Ankeny, IA FSDO and here is what I was told. First of all, its no wonder that there are so many people confused about different regulations because the inspector that I talked to said that lawyers are the ones who write the final drafts of the regulations that go in the FAR/AIM.He said that the anticollision light system (which according to the definition in the aim (refer to my bold print in my main post above) is any part of the anticollision light system) only needs to be operational for daytime, VFR flight. It is not required to actually use them. That goes without saying that you should at least use your beacon or strobes for visibility, but they are not required to actually be turned on. This was kind of a shocker to me because when you are going through your PPL and learn TOMATO FLAMES or whatever version of daytime VFR requirements you learn, the anticollision lights are part of that list.The inspector and I kind of went over a couple of other FARs right close to 91.209 as far as being able to fly the airplane while they are inop as long as you are flying to a place to have them fixed, but as far as daytime VFR flight for aircraft in the US, no lights are actually required to be running during the day. You just must have either strobes OR the beacon operational and ready for use.I wish that they could word these regs in a way that would be easier to understand, and not seem like you were having to translate all the time. The inspector even said the phrase to me that I use all the time regarding the FARs. Catch-all. There are so many of these in the FARs its incredible. And of course, they are written by lawyers. Go figure. :)Craig

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"only needs to be operational for daytime, VFR flight. It is not required to actually use them. That goes without saying that you should at least use your beacon or strobes for visibility, but they are not required to actually be turned on"Thanks for the call. I just got home from school around 6 pm today, and the orlando FSDO is already closed. I'll see if I can give em a call tomorrow, and see what they say, no doubt it will be a different interpretation :).Going back over 91.209, I don't actually see anything that says they must be on, just that they are operational. That's too funny. It too amazes me about the FAR's :).Till next timeSkyy

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Skyy, I wanted to give you another viewpoint that I got today from one of the charter pilots that works for our FBO. He said that if the POH or AFM checklist has you turn them on (like the beacon is on just about every checklist in the world), then it is a requirement. My only doubt about his statement is that the FAR/AIM does not make any statement about variances between different aircraft or their checklists.CraigEDIT: I forgot to comment on your interpretation that you will get from the Orlando FSDO when you call. I have no doubt on that either. That is another thing that my instructor and I were talking about today (I just got home also, from a ground lesson since it was 300 and 1 1/4 here today), which is how the FAA words their regulations. We both feel like they leave themselves numerous options for interpretation when they want to nail someone to the wall. I think it sucks, but its the government. :)

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Just to clarify the terminology a bit regarding aircraft lighting:The red lights (one on the top of the fuselage and one on the bottom) are considered anti-collision lights. They can be either rotating beacons (like the police car type Wolfgang equates them to) or strobes (like a camera's flash bulb). Modern jets like Airbus, Boeing typically have the strobe type while the smaller or older aircraft will typically have the rotating beacon type. One interesting exception is the L-1011 which has two beacons on top and two on the bottom. Most, if not all, commercial carriers have these running during all phases of operation. The red light on the left wing, green light on the right wing and white lights on the trailing edges of the wingtips and/or tail of the aircraft are considered navigation lights. Most, if not all, commercial carriers have these running during all phases of operation.The white camera-like strobes on the wingtips are considered anti-collision lights. Airbus models typically have the double-flash type while most newer Boeing models have the slightly brighter single-flash type. These are the lights most carriers will turn on as they enter the runway for take off and extinguish as they exit the runway after landing. These are also the lights referred to in AIM 4-3-23 that the PIC may turn off if he/she determines they pose a hazard to safety (blinding other pilots on the ground at night, for instance).

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>Actually in real life these red beacons are not flashing but >rotating (at least on many a/c I have seen) similar to the >red lights on a police car. Well, it seems most GA a/c do have this kind of really 'rorating' beacon, while Airbuses/Boeings etc. seem to have 'strobe'-like beacons. Rotating ones seem to be rare on 'em, I recently saw some JAL 747 with a rotating one, tho.http://members.lycos.co.uk/fs2k2/avsim/sig.jpg

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