Turnoff runway lights / question for RW Pilots

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Hello guys,

This is a research for an add-on I am currently developing (AI Lights Reborn Profesional Edition) regarding the turnoff runway lights.

If you are a real world pilot, could you posibly answer the questions below:

1) What plane model / airline are you flying?  For example, Boeing, Airbus, etc.

2) What airline are you flying for? For example, Ryanair, EasyJet, etc.

3) When are you normally using your Turnoff runway lights? For example: Always, only during taxi at nights, only before performing turns during taxi at nights, always below 10,000 ft, only at the runway after landing, etc.

4) Any other information you wish to pass on? For example: Reasons to operate the lights in any particular way, it is different on Europe from Asia or USA, etc., etc.

You information will be used to implement these lights for any  AI traffic the most accurate way posible with my next add-on, many thanks for your information in advance

Best Regards,


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In the USA most Air Carriers operate the exterior lights as follows:

Taxi light anytime aircraft is moving under own power, runway turn off lights may be on or off (pilot preference) 

Strobes, on anytime crossing active or closed runway, and anytime occupying a runway and all times airborne (unless heavy IMC in fog then the strobes will flash back into the FD and they will turn them off)

Landing lights, Ive seen them illuminate when crossing an active runway and right at the moment they were CLEARED for takeoff. Most all US Carriers leave the wing root landing light on until 18,000ft MSL. 

This above applies to US carriers operating over the United States. Not sure about others.

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One thing I wanted to add in case it makes a difference for your work.

I've seen a lot of flight simmers turn on their landing lights as they move to enter the runway during night ops, but this isn't correct (at least for FAA, I can't speak about CAA or ICAO). The proper procedure is to wait until the aircraft is lined up on the runway. Primarily the reasoning behind this is to avoid ruining the night vision of other pilots as your aircraft is usually somewhat perpendicular to the runway and when execute something around a 90 degree turn to line up - which allows for a lot of other pilots to enjoy/evaluate the brightness of your lights (lol).

The same applies to switching them off after landing (try to do it while you're still pointed down the runway) though I don't believe this was in the AIM.

My initial training was as an Naval Flight Officer on the big (for the Navy) P-3C, then later GA.  When I started back into flight sim in 2004 and again in 2008 I had many active pilots fly with me who turned their lights on well before they entered the runway and of course we debated the above until I was able to provide the AIM reference. 

I should note the references for turning landing lights on for crossing runways, which if my memory is correct this advised, not mandated and is more situational than anything (where are you crossing, would other pilots be affected by you turning on the lights, do you have the special lights for that purpose, etc.).

I hope this is helpful.  Please look for a PM from me on another matter.

Best wishes to all.





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Thanks for the input, it is the whole idea of this topic to find out what real pilots do, one of the objectives for AI Lights Reborn Profesional Edition is to correct wrong behaviours of AI where they turn on / turn off their strobes and landing lights at wrong times, for example they land, they slow down the plane and turn of the strobe and landing lights while they are still on the runway.

I am already archiving to correct the AI behaviour and now I want to learn about the turnoff lights which is a new feature I am working on.

@Angelo Cosma, thanks for your explanation, very helpfull.

Guys pelase keep it coming, I need to know the most common cases to prepare my algorithms :wink:

Bes Regards,

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Any other pilot around that could give further information?


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