Thu, Jun 29, 2006
A good pilot is always learning -- how many times have you
heard this old standard throughout your flying career? There is no
truer statement in all of flying (well, with the possible exception
of "there are no old, bold pilots.")
Aero-News has called upon the expertise of Thomas P. Turner,
master CFI and all-around-good-guy, to bring our readers -- and us
-- daily tips to improve our skills as aviators. Some of them, you
may have heard before... but for each of us, there will also be
something we might never have considered before, or something that
didn't "stick" the way it should have the first time we memorized
it for the practical test.
Look for our daily Aero-Tips segments, coming each day to
you through the Aero-News Network.
Cool summer evenings broaden through red dusk into the night.
And you fly on. When must you turn on the lights?
FAR 91.209 tells us --
No person may, during the period from sunset to sunrise (or, in
Alaska, during the period a prominent unlighted object cannot be
seen from a distance of 3 statute miles or the sun is more than 6
degrees below the horizon):
Operate an aircraft
unless it has lighted position lights
- Park or move an aircraft in, or in dangerous proximity to, a
night flight operations area of an airport unless the aircraft
- Is clearly illuminated;
- Has lighted position lights; or
- is in an area that is marked by obstruction lights;
- Operate an aircraft that is equipped with an anticollision
light system, unless the anticollision lights are on.
- However, the anticollision lights need not be lighted when the
pilot-in-command determines that, because of operating conditions,
it would be in the interest of safety to turn the lights off.
Note: This gives the pilot authority to turn
off strobes or other anticollision lights when they may interfere
with the pilot of another plane's vision during ground operations,
or when flying in reduced visibility, clouds or precipitation and
the anticollision lights induce distraction, disorientation or
unusual visual cues.
There are additional rules for seaplanes when anchored or
operating on the water.
Aero-tip of the day (or in this case, of the
night): Turn on anticollision lights when the sun goes
down, or anytime they will enhance others' ability to see and avoid
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