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At night you see strobes from many miles away. On a clear night you can often see an airliner at 35,000 feet too far away to hear anything by the flashing strobe moving steadily in one direction. During the day you only see them when they are on the ground or you may pick it up if you look carefully during landing or takeoff but that's it.

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If you can get the landing light flashing, it's far easier to pickup and see than just "on".

Thanks Downunder you have prompted me to get my landing light to blink. It has a wire (yellow) that makes lights blink. It will be an additional switch so can retain the fixed taxi light and have the blinking as the landing light. The light only has to avert a situation once. Marty is doing the safety thing fitting some lights.

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I just swapped out my 2 position toggle switch (on/off) to a 3 position toggle switch (on/off/flash).

Fitted in the same hole.....

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And you're looking but can't see it?

It's not a case of everything being right, but when things are wrong.....

Are they really where they say they are?

 

Expectation doesnt make it so and nav/landing lights will be even less of a help if they are not where they say/should be.

 

I love landing/nav lights. They look great and give the private pilot that professional "glow" (pun intended) when he/she goes through the landing check list and flicks that switch. I am with you the all the way, what fun!, that is until you start to ignore the science. All the passion in the world will not change the research - In day VFR conditions lights do very little to enhance air to air visibility.

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Sounds like the wig wags could be useful. I might get a pair and mount on the struts near the wing, that would give over half a wingspan separation so would be more visible.

 

Not sure I agree that it's about getting a "professional glow" Skippy, more about extra safety for a relatively low cost and weight. I wouldn't be flicking a switch as part of a landing checklist, I'd be flicking it on startup and leaving it on until switch off. They're LED's so they don't suck a lot of power.

 

A really professional job would be to put a polycarb window in the leading edge of the slat - but I don't think I'll go that far.

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Been lots of near misses at my airport lately. Just saying, we all know the rules :inbound, joining where to look but some calls are not exact with position headings etc so lights do help for sure. Added safety and more sexy.

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Sounds like the wig wags could be useful. I might get a pair and mount on the struts near the wing, that would give over half a wingspan separation so would be more visible.

 

Not sure I agree that it's about getting a "professional glow" Skippy, more about extra safety for a relatively low cost and weight. I wouldn't be flicking a switch as part of a landing checklist, I'd be flicking it on startup and leaving it on until switch off. They're LED's so they don't suck a lot of power.

 

A really professional job would be to put a polycarb window in the leading edge of the slat - but I don't think I'll go that far.

 

Marty - the analogy I would use is: - we live out our lives as if the World is flat, most of us know/accept that science has found it to be a sphere. It is however a relatively free world and some insist against all the evidence, that its flat - and I support that freedom.

 

I agree, lights are great fun and if they make you feel more secure ,wonderful! but dont fool yourself that there is any significant safety benefit.

 

Low power drain yes, relativly low cost yes however definitely not without risk - all that additional circuitry /connections adds up to a potential and unnecessary additional risk - that's okay if that's what you want to do with your aircraft.

 

I am not against lights - I actually like them. I also like a good paint job - I have a preference for basic unadorned white (very boring). Some pilots want to go the extra mile and have a "go faster paint" scheme - good luck to them but it wont actually add Knots and may (if its heavy enough) degrade the aircraft's performance marginally. their choice and I support that.

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RA aircraft cannot fly at night so Nav lights are a waste of money. Strobes are usually not visible from very far away & are more visible when an aircraft is on the ground. I bought a pair of LED strobes ($260.00) for my wingtips when building my aircraft. The flashing controller is in the wingtip & they draw very little current & here is no radio interference like the old halogen etc ones. A pair of Wing mounted LED landing lights with a wig-wag function are the best from a visibility aspect from head on. They stand out like dogs balls.

But they do fly when it is pretty dark.

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But they do fly when it is pretty dark.

At the strip I hope to fly at, I've seen one on approach at dusk, in fact I would have thought it was a bit too dark for safety but it was still technically daytime. How'd I see it? Because it had landing lights on. We can argue about the benefits until the cows come home but the main points are:

1. The guy who inspects my aircraft knows the local strip very well and advised me that it'd be a good idea to have some kind of lights for added visibility.

2. An entire wig-wag system (using the CrazedPilot one as an example) weighs less than 200g total and costs around AUD$115 delivered from the states.

 

So to me, it's worth it. To others it may not be.

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Also worth their cost up here in grey sky, light drizzle. I regularly see their benefit. Also when flying to a destination and others are merging there as well. Aides picking up visually sooner. I believe that aircraft without strobes and landing lights are lesser on the fly safe scale. Requirement rules are usually set at the required minimum and you can always add safety items / equipment. So in my opinion fit them and enjoy your flying and be seen. Cheers

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Sorry to labour the point Marty, but I bought a kit from CrazedPilot. It was next to useless, so I ripped it out and gave it to a mate who wants to install it facing backwards on his plane. It should be just adequate in that role.

 

I replaced it with this neat unit:

https://www.sparxfly.co.nz/2014/sparxfly_acc.shtml#wigwag

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Preamble: I work in a remote control tower, looking out the windows to see the planes is half of my job. I have windows all around giving good visibility, I know where to look for where aircraft are supposed to be and where they say they are. I have a decent pair of binoculars that are used to spot aircraft.

 

Seeing aircraft tracking toward the field is difficult to do. Their cross section is small and there is no relative movement to assist in spotting them. For small aircraft, C172 sort of size, they'll be seen at around 10NM out. Same goes for slightly bigger aircraft like PC12s, Kingairs, Citations etc. A B737 or A320 at around 20NM. Add decent lights and these distances are extended around 50% to 15/30NM. Add decent wig wags and the distance increases again. On a good visibility day, I can easily pick up a 737 at around 30NM when they switch on their landing lights (which they do when descending through 10000Ft).

A C208 without lights will be seen at around 10NM, with wigwags, at around 20NM. Good landing lights/wigwags make a big difference when front on.

 

Wingtip/tail strobes are generally not seen by me outside of the circuit area, but within the circuit and on the runway they definitely standout. Part of the reason I don't see them much away from the circuit is because I'm on the ground, looking up, with the background being the big bright sky. For air to air spotting in my experience (fixed wing and helicopter), particularly from above, they stand out and demand visual attention.

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Sorry to labour the point Marty, but I bought a kit from CrazedPilot. It was next to useless, so I ripped it out and gave it to a mate who wants to install it facing backwards on his plane. It should be just adequate in that role.

 

I replaced it with this neat unit:

https://www.sparxfly.co.nz/2014/sparxfly_acc.shtml#wigwag

 

CrazedPilot are possibly a bad example OK - I had a look at their reviews on Ebay and they were pretty bad. I'll spend a bit more time (and money), your Sparxfly unit looks good.

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I just swapped out my 2 position toggle switch (on/off) to a 3 position toggle switch (on/off/flash).

Fitted in the same hole.....

Is that just a simple switch available from Jaycar?

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.............................. Requirement rules are usually set at the required minimum ........................................ Cheers

Preamble: I work in a remote control tower, looking out the windows to see the planes is half of my job. I have windows all around giving good visibility, I know where to look for where aircraft are supposed to be and where they say they are. I have a decent pair of binoculars that are used to spot aircraft..........................................................................................

 

.............................. For air to air spotting in my experience (fixed wing and helicopter), particularly from above, they stand out and demand visual attention.

 

Okay!

Blue; My experience of Au government(s) regulations is 180 degrees of yours - In my opinion Government over regulates to an incredible level - the cotton wool/ no responsibility approach to society - so I suggest that if the Gov had even an inclinging that lights would significantly reduce risk for RAA level aircraft they would be mandated.

 

Kieran: When I first read your comment I thought - bang goes all that theory, I absorbed so many years ago but then I re read it - you are actually supporting my understanding/position.

As a controller you are looking for aircraft in expected positions/locations (direction relative to you/runway and expected altitude), importantly from the ground. True occasionally they are not where they say/or expected to be but overwhelmingly they will be. So you get your binoculars out, look east somewhere between 500 & 10,000 ft and "bobs your uncle" there is a little shimmering star out there - must be that Jumbo on a long approach.

Its quite another thing to be flying along, pick up an aircraft that you dont know is there or you have heard a radio call to ATC so you know there is one somewhere in the general vicinity, that will cross your heading in a few minutes/moments may be 1500 ft above/below you. How often has the later happened and no matter how hard you try you never see the other aircraft with or without lights in Day VFR..

The examples you sight follow this line and even your last comment " particularly from above, they stand out and demand visual attention" supports the lights against a dark battleground. So unfortunately my position remains:

Nav/Landing lights on RAA level aircraft do not significantly enhance air to air visibility.

I use the word significantly to alowe a small margin - light will assist an observer who is looking for a known aircraft target, particularly if it is roughly where it is expected to be and of course lights will show up like the proverbial dogs equipment, when you have a relativly darker background, dark cloud, ground, etc.

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Is that just a simple switch available from Jaycar?

I couldn't find it on the jaycar site but it's the same as this.

http://vi.raptor.ebaydesc.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemDescV4&item=153001169559&category=42613&pm=1&ds=0&t=1588135317000&ver=0

Easy 6.3 mm male spade connectors.

It has 3 connectors.

Centre is + input.

Bottom is power to bottom connector when switch is "down".

Top is power to top connector when switch is "up".

Centre switch position is "off".

NOTE* This only the switch. It has nothing to do with the flashing.

If you need to know how to wire the flasher unit to it, please ask.?

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Nav/Landing lights on RAA level aircraft do not significantly enhance air to air visibility.

 

Nav lights for enhanced visibility isn't going to do heaps, but that's not really what they're designed/intended for. Their purpose is being able to decipher whether an aircraft is tracking towards you or away from you (or same/opposite direction), and generally then, primarily in low light/night conditions. For day VFR, they look pretty on the ramp...

 

Air to air aircraft spotting is always going to be difficult for several reasons: having a moving frame of reference (background), atmospheric conditions, empty field myopia, air frame structures, relative movement (the collision course is going to be the hardest to spot) etc. Landing lights and particularly wig-wags, front on will increase the chances of being seen (how quantifiable that is though???).

But, conflict avoidance isn't always air to air. Consider taxiing out for an afternoon flight, taking off to the west into wind but also into sun, silent radio, lined up, looked up and seeing landing lights, bugger. Ground to air, landing lights assist.

Conversely, after your afternoon flight back in the circuit not long before last light, the air's cooling, the bumpy air gone, radio silent. Turning base to final the strobes catch your eye as your mate enters mid runway for a leisurely backtrack. Maybe the blissful silence of the radio is more operator assisted than first thought... Air to ground, strobes will assist.

 

Where to cost benefit falls is going to be variable. One day I'll build, will it have lights, maybe?

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Marty - the analogy I would use is: - we live out our lives as if the World is flat, most of us know/accept that science has found it to be a sphere. It is however a relatively free world and some insist against all the evidence, that its flat - and I support that freedom.

 

I agree, lights are great fun and if they make you feel more secure ,wonderful! but dont fool yourself that there is any significant safety benefit.

 

Low power drain yes, relativly low cost yes however definitely not without risk - all that additional circuitry /connections adds up to a potential and unnecessary additional risk - that's okay if that's what you want to do with your aircraft.

 

I am not against lights - I actually like them. I also like a good paint job - I have a preference for basic unadorned white (very boring). Some pilots want to go the extra mile and have a "go faster paint" scheme - good luck to them but it wont actually add Knots and may (if its heavy enough) degrade the aircraft's performance marginally. their choice and I support that.

 

Yes: what looks like a flat runway is actually curved.

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Oops! file to large Here it is marty

Hi, just post the eBay link instead of the pics

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I find cheap LED’s in caravans lead to bad tv and radio interference which we don’t need in aeroplanes. Good ones swapped over fix the problem. Narva marine LED’s are nice and bright, and have aerodynamic shape for tip mounting, might be an optio.

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