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Lights while flying

Old 26th Dec 2011, 04:47
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Lights while flying

I have noticed that Virgin flights (VIR671M) A343 overflying Khartoum always have their landing lights on while in cruising.

Is that a policy within virgin?

Do they always fly with their lights on or it's only for Africa?
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 20:08
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From what I know about African ATC, the more lights, the better!
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 22:45
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Wot ee sed. Never flown on the continent but everyone I know who has tells me to turn em all on. Even in daylight. (having driven in the harsh African sun I understand what they're getting at ).
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 17:59
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So is it only for Africa or its a policy within VIR to be more visible for other traffic
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 21:36
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FWIW a/c lights are virtually invisible during daylight, especially somewhere sunny. Strobes are useless during daytime, much better when it starts to drop dark. Landing lights are OK for head on collision avoidance but not for much else. I've no idea why they would keep them on during the day, I would be interested to know. There's always the possibility they forgot to turn them off, more than once I've reached to switch them on and thought 'Ahhh'..... Mind you I'm not a professional pilot.
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 22:01
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Check out the IATA inflight broadcast procedure and the applicable area, then look at the suggested procedures, then add in the recent Hajj movement, and maybe you might understand why they leave the lights on.
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 22:40
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I'm sure it's for a sensible reason.
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 23:00
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a couple of years ago, BBC Radio Nottingham reported an increase in UFO type sightings over the east midlands area of the UK. Notwithstanding the increase in traffic at the local airport, there are several 'airways' which cross this region. It was suggested that many overflying a/c are now using more than the basic anti-collision/navigation lamp set-up, just to increase their visibility to other aircraft.
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 23:48
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I may be wrong here but I thought SOP in UK was to turn landing lights off at or below FL100?
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Old 29th Dec 2011, 06:14
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Probably the other way round. Many airlines have SOPs to switch the lights on below FL100. On the 737 that is runway turnoff lights and inboard landing lights, we keep the outboards as reminder for a landing/take off clearance. Logo lights only at nights though to save on light bulbs...
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Old 29th Dec 2011, 10:36
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Noticed a BA airbus landing yesterday in the UK at 16.30z with only wing strobes on, whilst every other a/c were using landing lights.

Assumed it was a tech issue, as the airbus landing lights sometimes seem to come on automatically with gear down and sometimes come on when landing clearance is given.
(unless it still hadn't been cleared to land as it went over the threshold?)
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Old 29th Dec 2011, 14:23
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I'm not familiar with the type but they might actually be "recognition lights" rather than "landing lights".

Similar idea though, basically white lights with similar intensity to landing lights. Our SOP is for "recy lights" (as we call them) on below FL100. We also use them to "flash" oncoming traffic in the cruise, a bit like flashing your car headlights when you see a mate.

I've not flown in that region but by all accounts the more lights on the better. It's not uncommon to see aircraft recognition lights from 70+ miles away!
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Old 3rd Jan 2012, 12:07
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Have had the same experiance while over Africa with BA, EK, LH, KLM so maybe it just gets quiet out there some times and its good to know you are not alone when you see fellow travellers at night around.
However recently in bound to Liverpool from Berlin 20/12 and had landing lights on twice while over North Sea while still in cruise, no idea why but we appeared to be skimming through the tops of high cloud so that maybe reason, but I have not had this happen before with other carriers maybe SOP for Easyjet in those circumstances.
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Old 5th Jan 2012, 13:07
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I have a question that is relevant to this thread, so thought best to ask here.

Sitting watching a game at Richmond Rugby Club before Christmas, there were aircraft on approach to land at LHR. I noticed that some had their landing lights on, some didn't. I guess this was about 16:00. It was getting dark, if not completely dark (to use a technical phrase!).

My question is: if the company SOPs do not state that the landing lights must always be switched on below FL10 (which must have been the case for the aircraft I saw without landing lights, assuming the pilots were following SOPs), is the decision to use them on approach at the commander's discretion? If so, how do you decide when dark is dark enough?
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 18:59
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Its for a reason, but is it all the way long or just over specific areas?

Are recognition lights some other lights than Landing lights? I guess they are the same its only the way its used (cruise/landing/TCAS maneuver).
The only lights I know on aircraft are:
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 13:46
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As MUTT said

SEE & BE SEEN it's damn simple
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Old 10th Jan 2012, 20:36
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AirOne (smart carrier of Alitalia in MXP) SOP for A320
Climb: LDG LT Off at gear up
Descent: LDG LT On at gear down
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Old 10th Jan 2012, 21:03
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My nephew in Southern Africa, relates discussing with the CEO the cost of ALWAYS running the strobes, even in daylight, and the cost of a hull loss ...
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 10:46
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relates discussing with the CEO the cost of ALWAYS running the strobes
Strobes on entering the runway, strobes off exiting the runway regardless of the flight duration....... did you mean "landing lights"?

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Old 11th Jan 2012, 12:53
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SOP for VS within the IFBP Area over Africa due to the higher than usual risk of collision.


Area of Application
6.1. In the AFI Region the IFBP should be applied in the following FIRs and airspaces:
a) Accra
b) Addis Ababa
c) Alger*
d) Asmara
e) Brazzaville
f) Dakar
g) Dakar Oceanic**
h) Johannesburg Oceanic*** & ****
i) Kano
j) Khartoum
k) Kinshasa
l) Luanda
m) Lusaka
n) Mogadishu
o) N'Djamena
p) Niamey
q) Roberts
r) Seychelles
s) Tripoli*
t) Windhoek****
* Not applicable in Alger and Tripoli FIRs North of latitude 30N
** Not applicable in RVSM/RNP airspace of Dakar Oceanic FIR
**** Not applicable in Johannesburg Oceanic FIR South of latitude 20S
**** Not applicable in Windhoek FIR South of latitude 20S

Last edited by Shanwick Shanwick; 11th Jan 2012 at 21:55.
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