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craig_read

Lights usage

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I am just curious really, and particularly interested as far as the 747-400 goes, but when and where do you use which lights? I have always assumed the following:1 - Taxi light, whenever undertaking taxi, off when gear is stowed or parked.2 - Beacon, used from before engine start, before aircraft movement for warning, off when engines off and aircraft parked/secure.3 - NAV lights, pretty much on all the time, when APU is running and parked etc.4 - Strobe, on from entering runway to leaving runway... on no other time.5 - Landing lights, these I am not sure of, I assumed on when entering runway, OFF after 10,000 feet? Seems high though.. when do you turn them on? When on approach or are they on below 10,000 feet?6 - Wing lights (runway turnoff), on to check wings for icing?7 - Logo, discretion really, not required legally I don't believe for anything special, but good for an airlines advertising.I am pretty sure my use of 1 to 4 is correct. I am just not sure about the landing lights.. any opinions? Particularly interested in the view of a qualified pilot here!CheersCraig Read

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The reasoning behind 10,000 ceiling for landing lights is that it adds visibility for VFR traffic, most of which is normally aspirated and below that level. Also, you will see the wing and logo lights on for the same reason.

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I am just curious really, and particularly interested as far as the 747-400 goes, but when and where do you use which lights? I have always assumed the following:1 - Taxi light, whenever undertaking taxi, off when gear is stowed or parked.2 - Beacon, used from before engine start, before aircraft movement for warning, off when engines off and aircraft parked/secure.3 - NAV lights, pretty much on all the time, when APU is running and parked etc.4 - Strobe, on from entering runway to leaving runway... on no other time.5 - Landing lights, these I am not sure of, I assumed on when entering runway, OFF after 10,000 feet? Seems high though.. when do you turn them on? When on approach or are they on below 10,000 feet?6 - Wing lights (runway turnoff), on to check wings for icing?7 - Logo, discretion really, not required legally I don't believe for anything special, but good for an airlines advertising.I am pretty sure my use of 1 to 4 is correct. I am just not sure about the landing lights.. any opinions? Particularly interested in the view of a qualified pilot here!CheersCraig Read
Hi Craig, Taxi = Whenever needed for Taxi. Some airports (From what I've read in this forum) make them mandatory when moving in any light. I only use them when needed or starting to get dark, to help tower see me :)Beacon = Is only tied to the engine reason (alerts ground personel). On right before start, normally I turn them on during pushback. Off, after all engines are off.Nav = These are turned on for several reasons. To let other know you are preparing to board or boarding. To help taxi'ing aircraft see your outer edges (you).Strobe = Yes, on when entering the runway and stay on until exiting.Landing lights = As Dan said.Logo = These lights do not ever have to be used. They are only for showing your company logo, and normally left on from the gate at preload til shutdown.Wing lights = Correct, they are used for the captain/crew to be able to visually inspect the wings throughout the flight.Runway Turnoff = They help the pilot see the high speed 'runway to taxi' (60 knot exits). However, they are also allowed and often used when a pilot is unfamiliar with the airport during taxi and/or low vis taxi.TCAS = TCAS is normally also turned on and off at the same times as the strobes.I am not an airline pilot, but like you, enjoy doing things by the book and as real as I can mimic. I got the above information from various websites as well as pilots on this site, and an old friend / scuba buddy who flew for UA. I keep it in a text file in my back ups incase I ever take a long break and forget ;)

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The reasoning behind 10,000 ceiling for landing lights is that it adds visibility for VFR traffic, most of which is normally aspirated and below that level. Also, you will see the wing and logo lights on for the same reason.
I always leave Landing, wing, logo and rwy turnoff lights were on up to transition altitude (FL180 in the US) for the exact same reason: To make the aircraft more visible to VFR aircraft. The airline SOP I have access to leaves it up to the PIC to decide when to turn them off. (10k or FL180)Light use as per SWA: (Really applies to all aircraft, US domestic)-Nav lights as long as there is electrical power on the aircraft.-Beacon Lights when the aircraft is in motion or when the engines are running.-All External lights on when crossing a runway.-Runway turnoff lights, wing lights on when holding short of the active runway to increase aircraft visibility.-All lights except landing and strobes on when entering active runway.-Landing Lights and Strobes on when cleared for take off.-Landing lights, wing lights and runway turnoff lights off when climbing through FL180.-Landing lights and runway turnoff lights on when descending through FL180.-Landing lights, runway turnoff and strobe lights off when exiting the active runway.-Beacon off when N1 is less than 3%-Logo and Taxi lights are all at pilot's discretion. Use to see and be seen.

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I always leave Landing, wing, logo and rwy turnoff lights were on up to transition altitude (FL180 in the US) for the exact same reason: To make the aircraft more visible to VFR aircraft. The airline SOP I have access to leaves it up to the PIC to decide when to turn them off. (10k or FL180)Light use as per SWA: (Really applies to all aircraft, US domestic)-Nav lights as long as there is electrical power on the aircraft.-Beacon Lights when the aircraft is in motion or when the engines are running.-All External lights on when crossing a runway.-Runway turnoff lights, wing lights on when holding short of the active runway to increase aircraft visibility.-All lights except landing and strobes on when entering active runway.-Landing Lights and Strobes on when cleared for take off.-Landing lights, wing lights and runway turnoff lights off when climbing through FL180.-Landing lights and runway turnoff lights on when descending through FL180.-Landing lights, runway turnoff and strobe lights off when exiting the active runway.-Beacon off when N1 is less than 3%-Logo and Taxi lights are all at pilot's discretion. Use to see and be seen.
Great info there Joseph,Curious about what I wrote about the TCAS being turned on at the Active. Is that true? I forget exactly where I got that info but it was in my notes.Also, do you leave your wing lights on for the duration of your flight? And Lastly, what about some using the RW Turnoffs during Taxi as I stated above?Thanks

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The transponder depends entirely on company policy. Certain airports require it turned on inside the movement area for their ground surveillance systems (ASDE-X in the US). At airports where this is not required, it can be operated in conjunction with the strobes.I use the wing lights along with the landing lights to increase aircraft visibility, but they are designed as inspection lights to illuminate the leading edge of the wing to check for ice. So use of them is really at your discretion.

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Some companies let their logo lights burn out and never replace them. I think AA is one of them

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Taxi lights should be turned off when the marshaller is spotted so as not to dazzle them or near the gate. The transponder should be turned on when movement is immenent if stated in the local airport regs and tcas approching the active runway to check the approach for planes as an additional aid.At high altitude airports it's usual for landing lights to be turned on or off at 25 miles (Depends on local regs and sops).Of course NEVER cross or enter an active runway without permission EVER.John Ellison

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I believe that when at an airport, if there is dense fog, you should not use strobes, but i could be wrong.Sam Cowan

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Good point Sam, but it depends on the aircraft. In a small plane (I fly a C414) the stobes get turned off in fog or cloud because the flash evelops the airplane but in a larger aircraft this is not a problem. I don't know what the strobes in the JS41 would do, but I assume none of the jets in the pmdg fleet would have this problem.

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As more and more airports switch to ground tracking radar, the transponder is being used more during taxi. For US airports, look for this message in the Airport Diagram:ASDE-X Surveillance system in use. Pilots should operate transponders with mode C on all twys and rwys.Note: Here is the FAA Fact Sheet about ASDE-X, which includes a list of the airports at which it is to be installed: http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_s...cfm?newsId=6296.

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Hi,I also have some questions1-what storm lights are and when to use them (even though they are not simulated, just out of curiosity)2-runway turnoff lights (what are and when to use them3-general rules concerning cockpit lightning during night flying (usage of dome lights, flood lights etc...)thanks!Giulio Dondi from Italy

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