Lights and Illumination the Path Ahead

You might have taken note of a few things during your flight travels or when you gaze up at a night sky. The one thing you will definitely have noticed is that the aircraft is geared with a number of illuminating lights. If you are the more detail-oriented type, you might have even noticed that planes flash different sets of lights during landing and takeoff. If you’re an inquisitive type, you probably asked yourself what might the intention and design be behind this design, what does the positioning and different colored lights mean? If you are curious to find out or if you are entering the aircraft industrial industry and want to brush up your knowledge, read the article below and find out why such aircraft lights were put in place and how they air with flight crews.

In the same way that an automobile driving behind the wheel may utilize the car headlights, a pilot will use the airplane's taxi headlights to light up the path in front at night. Pilots will specifically use taxi lights to illuminate the taxiway and find the runway or gate during dark and cloudy climates. Taxi lights may not seem very bright if you’re looking at a distance but if you are part of the ground personnel team and see that taxi lights are approaching, then that’s the signal for you to look away as these lights up close can cause retinal damage if you look directly into it.

Landing lights are usually placed under the fuselage or positioned on the wings. They’re designed and positioned so that the pilot can see the runway when landing or taking off. They also serve to let pilots on other airplanes know that they’re there. At around 200 feet above the runway, the pilot will turn on landing lights so that the plane can be illuminated for others to see. The same goes for when taking off and when they reach cruising altitude, the pilots shut them off. The name is self-explanatory- these lights are designed for avoiding collisions by for letting ground personnel and other pilots know that you are flying nearby. There are three different types of anti-collision lights including red, green, and white position lights. These lights are specially positioned on an aircraft to let ground personnel and other pilots know the position of the plane. These lights consist of red and green lights, the former being positioned on the left wing and the latter being located on the right wing.

Red beacons, meanwhile are positioned on the top and bottom of the aircraft, these beacons begin to flash some moments before the engine starts and are turned off after the engine is turned off. The red beacons let ground personnel know that the engines have started and that they should move aside. Being around a plane when its engine is on can be dangerous and these beacons help mitigate any risk. Finally, white lights that you see every time you see an airplane flying through the skies. Located on the wing tips, these white strobe lights are blinding when viewed closely, but when viewed from a distance during even the cloudiest of days, shine brilliantly through to illuminate the plane.

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