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They bring their tentative finger slowly over to the landing light switch; it hovers over the control for what seems an eternity. They will be even more confused if strobes are involved. I reviewed this issue with another flight instructor.
I asked him if he has the same situation come up, and if so, what he does about it. Do you need the lights to see? Or Do you need the lights to be seen? Aircraft certificated with an electrical system and have installed lighting systems typically include all or some the following: Therefore, during the day they are OFF.
Primary Anti-collision light, such as the beacon, are required to be used during all types of operations day or night. If the master switch is on, so is the beacon. Closer to the truth, the beacon light switch is ON, period! This is where there is some confusion and personal preference.
First, if an aircraft has both a landing and taxi light, consider them one light and one switch. They are either both on or they are both off. There is rarely a need to have one on and the other off.
After landing, if it is daytime, turn them off. After landing, if it is nighttime, leave them on. Turn them off ONLY if they might cause a distraction to another pilot, especially if they are taking-off or landing. There is a regulation to have a landing light, but that is only for aircraft utilized at night for commercial operations.
In cruise flight there is some personal preference that can be afforded.
Some pilots always turn them off and others leave them on. There is a recommendation from the FAA to leave landing lights on below 10, feet, but this does not appear to be universally adopted or practiced in general aviation.
Since the advent of LED lighting many pilots choose to just leave them on day or night. Strobes are another form of anti-collision light and usually supplementary to a beacon. They should be turned off after landing and clear of the runway so not to distract other pilots or ground personnel.
I hope this helps illuminate the uses of aircraft lighting in the different phases of ground and air operations. If you have any questions, discuss it with any flight instructor.BUSINESS AVIATION. ForeFlight delivers all-in-one affordable technology to keep your pilots informed and organized and your entire flight department in sync.
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