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Guest DreamFleet

Use of landing lights for GA aircraft question.

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Here's a basic question. What are the rules governing the use of landing lights for takeoff, approach, and landing for general aviation aircraft? Thanks in advance,Lawrie

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As far as I know there are no written rules regarding the use of landing lights.Now based on personal experience here's what I know.Whenever I've been flying in real life (C152's C172's) instructors (for the most part) have always had me keep my landing lights on within 5 miles of the airport. This increases your visibility and i'm sure other pilots appreciate it. Now on days when traffic was light around the airport some instructors had me keep it off, the reason, they explained, was that landing light bulbs don't grow on trees and they were trying to save the company some money.Now when it comes to commercial aviation all you have to do is watch an airport to see how aircraft use their lights. Most taxi with the beacons and taxi lights on. Once they are ready to go at the runway hold short line they will flip on their strobe lights (to increase visibility to landing aicraft I assume). They also only put on their landing lights when they are cleared for takeoff. This is interesting to watch because you'll see aircraft taxi into position and hold on a runway for a few minutes without their landing lights on, but once they are cleared to go they switch them on and they are outta there.They also only keep the landing lights on until around 10,000 feet, and then turn them back on again while descending through 10,000 feet. -D

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Thanks for the reply. I was aware of the proceedures for large commercial jets, but could not find anything for GA aircraft entering into an airport. At one time I thought that they must be turned on within 10nm.Lawrie

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Landing lights are not a legal requirement for most GA aircraft, unless the aircraft is used for "hire". Their use is thus predicated on common sense with the idea of "seeing" and "being seen".The majority of times I use a landing light have nothing to do with seeing the runway when landing at night, and more with using it so other aircraft can easily see mine. ;-)On an air-to-air photo shoot that I did earlier this week, we took off just ahead of the "subject" plane. He kept his landing light on so we could easily see him approaching behind us before he came along side. It was somewhat hazy out, and that light made all the difference.With the airlines it is usually something like this:1. At the gate- position lights on2. Ready for push back / engine start / taxi- anti collision lights on3. Ready to take the runway- strobes on4. Ready for take off- everything on including landing / taxi lightsOf course this may differ from airline to airline.Regards,http://www.dreamfleet2000.com/gfx/images/F..._FORUM_LOUd.jpg

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