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DaveS

Flood lighting

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Just wondering if flood lighting should be on or off when flying at night, or is this pilot preference? I always have it off and was wondering how it's used in the real world.Thanks,Dave S

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Just wondering if flood lighting should be on or off when flying at night, or is this pilot preference? I always have it off and was wondering how it's used in the real world.Thanks,Dave S
You use it when you need it. The only exception is during thunderstorms, it's best to have it on so you don't get blinded by flashes.Rob

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I read someplace, maybe here, that ocean crossing crews might turn the lights up to stay awake. There is absolutely nothing to look at out the windows most of the time.

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On the contrary Dan.When I cross the Ocean in my PMDG MD11, I usually turn the lights down and go to sleep!Peter Osborn

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I usually turn off the flood and dome lights when landing or taking off at night. I only use the dome light during preflight. The rest of the time, flood lights are on only when needed as stated earlier.

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I turn on the dome lights when on the ground to have a good view in the cockpit. Until cruise level and from decent checklist to runway I use the floodlights to have both a good look outside as well as a good look on the knobs and switches. In cruise I only use the panel lights. This way the led's and screens attract more attention because of their dark surroundings.I really don't know what a real pilot would do, but I compare this with driving my car: night driving is best done with as little light as possible in the car.

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HiIn the real world it will largely depend on the SOPS of the company you fly for. But generally flood lights are not used unless there is a thunderstorm or on the ground during preflight checks. Night vision is very important to pilots and it takes up to 30min for the eyes to fully adjust. So the lower the lights the better. Most airlines I know demand the switching off of almost all cockpit lighting below 10.000ft from the pilots.Of course in the sim it is different. I use the flood lights a lot in the sim as it makes it easier to identify the relevant buttons and switches.Hope that helpsStefan

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When I cross the Ocean in my PMDG MD11, I usually turn the lights down and go to sleep!
:( Naturally.Speaking of real world, when I am on instruments solid IMC at night, I turn the lights up. I won't need night vision, and I personnally find it easier to mentally focus and maintain instrument scan, especially engine instruments not directly in front of me, and charts are easier for me to view. The plane I fly (C-414) has lighting within the yoke hubs for lighting up an approach or star plate in my lap, which is handy, but if I am using an eroute chart the overhead flood is nice. This is only in solid IMC... if I am going in and out of VMC then yes, the lights are down for the night vision thing... but don't forget one of the easiest things to see at night is another airplane. In solid IMC the first hint of anything to see outside is the soup starts to glow close to the middle marker and then boom... there are those beautiful runway lights (you are already over the approach lights at minimums in most cases). No night vision conditioning required to see those! This is one of the beautiful sights in the world in my opinion.

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