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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (07.11.20): Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI)

Aero-Terms!

Aero-Terms are designed to be a daily reminder of the terms, names, acronyms and explanations of the unique language that populates the aviation world. Aerospace, sport aviation, fixed wing, helo, you name it... it's all fair game.

Aero-Terms should serve as a quick but intriguing reminder of the terms you may use every day, or an introduction to an aspects of the Aero-World you may not yet be familiar with. ANN also encourages readers to go beyond the FMI link, and further research any intriguing terms.

Suggestions for future Aero-Terms are ALWAYS welcome, as are additions or discussion of the explanations given for each Aero-Term.

Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI)

An airport lighting facility, similar to VASI, providing vertical approach slope guidance to aircraft during approach to landing. PAPIs consist of a single row of either two or four lights, normally installed on the left side of the runway, and have an effective visual range of about 5 miles during the day and up to 20 miles at night. PAPIs radiate a directional pattern of high intensity red and white focused light beams which indicate that the pilot is “on path” if the pilot sees an equal number of white lights and red lights, with white to the left of the red; “above path” if the pilot sees more white than red lights; and “below path” if the pilot sees more red than white lights.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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