When to Use Aircraft Lights?

Most people know, simply from looking upwards at a flying aircraft, that planes have their own set of lights attached to them. However only pilots, aircraft mechanics and others in the industry know what each light means and why they are positioned the way that they are. For a basic outline on aircraft lights and when they are utilized, read on below.

Landing Lights

Landing lights are positioned on the wings or under the fuselage. True to its name, the purpose of these lights is so that the pilot can let others know they will soon be taking off or landing on the runway. At around 200 ft is when the landing lights are activated.

Anti-Collision Lights

Anti-collision lights do exactly as they are labeled for. Designed to prevent airplanes from colliding into each other, these lights can come in different sets and colors. The beacons that shine red are located on the top and bottom of the aircraft and are designed to let ground personnel know that the engines have started and that they should move (aircraft engines are very dangerous to be close to once activated). When the engines are off the beacons also turn off.

Anti-collision lights also come in red, green and white colors. These are called position lights and they are made so that ground personnel and other flying pilots can deduce the position of the plane. Red lights are positioned on the left wing, while green lights are positioned on the right.

Anytime a plane is flying through the skies, you will notice the white strobe lights that are attached to the wing tips. Viewed up close, these lights are massively bright, so much so that they could potentially blind a person. But when they are viewed from a distance, you can see them distinctly, even through thick blankets of fog and clouds.


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