How to use the "strobe lights" correctly!

Dear fellow Simmers,

infinite flight becomes more real every day! - we should add our share by applying real world operating procedures!!

Please use the white strobe lights correctly, it makes a big difference.
The strobes are used only:
if an aircraft is crossing a runway (e.g. to taxi to the take off rwy)
if an aircraft enters a runway for take off after receiving the line up or take off clearance
if in flight until vacating the runway after landing
In case you have to cross another runway on your way to the gate, turn the strobes on again for the time you cross the runway.

By the way, if you get confused with the function of the beacon light (the red one;-): The beacon indicates an aircraft with engines running or in motion. So it is turned on before pushback from “off blocks” and turned of after arrival “on blocks”

…and another thing: In the real world you turn on the landing lights: between lining up until you reach 10000ft from descending thru 10000ft until you vacate the runway after landing.
As we do not have taxi light we can use the landing light also during taxi. But please: Turn them off while you stop and wait for traffic to pass and turn them off when entering the gate area.

Happy landings folks!
Clipper 747pa

P.S.: You can trust me on the procedures


Hi, maybe my explanation is a bit too complicated, so I put in other words:

The strobe light are OFF during taxi (except you cross a runway)
The strobe lights are OFF while waiting for the take off clearance

The strobe lights have to be turned ON, after receiving the take off clearance and before entering the rwy, for take off, in flight, for landing and until you vacate the active runway

Strobes are by their nature a strong signal.
They indicate your intentions and your position to others. By using them correctly, you add more realism.

By using them incorrectly, one is not only reducing the level of realism, but also sending incorrect signals to other Sim Pilots.

Happy Landings



Good to know


Thanks for that info! I’ve never really known when they’re used. Since IF has no engine turning on/off procedure, I guess turning off strobes is the last ‘step’ of the flight, when you’re in the gate and parking (ordinary) brakes are on. The more things to do professionally, the better! :smile:


Just to be clear, turning off the strobes would not be the last step. Once you land and clear the runway, turn them off. If you have to cross a runway on your way to the gate turn them on again while you cross then off on the taxiway to the gate. At the gate turn off your beacon as well to indicate your engine is off.


Hi Eric,

you are absolutely right.
the beacon is on until you stopped at the gate and turned off the engines.
In IF we are able to simulate this! - begin a flight with the beacon off, turn it on just before pushback and end your flight with turning the beacon off, as you set the parking brake.

In addition another aspect with regard to landing/taxi lights and adding some more realism:
Taxiing to the gate, you have the taxi lights on (in IF the landing lights).
upon the last turn into the gate, you would turn them off, so you do not dazzle the gate crew;-)

After all, simulation is about creating an environment, that is close to reality!😃
…and following these procedures, you also enhance the perception of IF for all other simmers.

Happy landings



"DO GOOD WORK" Clipper. Sage advise. Suggest you use a lead like "Clipper Sez; Strobes & Beacon Rules". I'll watch for your input. Max Sends

1 Like

Hi Folks,

it s pretty amazing,…almost 400 people read this article.

Today I flew twice in SoCal on the advanced server.

Guess what, --and I am not complaining, just observing–,
most of the pilots did not use the strobe correctly.
Their aircraft had it ON

  • even before pushback
  • during taxi
  • waiting in line for take off

It just is a bit disturbing, because from a distance, one only sees the strobes.

oh, but I have to mention, I also saw a guy who was turning it on before crossing the runway and turned it off after vacating. It looked pretty real and cool!!!
and another one, who -after waiting for his take off clearance- turned the landing lights and the strobes on upon receiving the take off clearance.
It really looked cool, because its motion, its aural ATC and you see the lights at the right time!

Happy Landings



In real life (for a 737NG at least) the position lights have three settings, OFF, STEADY, and STROBE & STEADY. Normally you would swicth to STEADY at some point around APU start or pushback (exact timing may vary with each airline), and then switch to STROBE & STEADY on entering a runway, this is typically part of the runway entry procedure performed by the PM along with switching on landing lights.

Normally fixed landing lights are turned on when entering the runway and retractable landing lights are turned on after takeoff clearence is received - although in IF we just have one landing lights button. As noted already, landing lights stay on until 10,000ft or FL100 and are turned off as part of the ten checks flow. They are turned back on after descening through 10,000ft or FL100.

In IF as there is no Steady and I think the Nav lights actually correspond to the STEADY position, so Nav should certainly be on at any point during pushback. Strobes in IF corresponds to the STROBE & STEADY position, and I only use the Strobes as suggested by Clipper747PA on enterting the runway.

The Beacon lights on IF are also known as anti-collision lights - the switch is labelled as “anti-collision” on a 737NG lights panel. These usually go only before engine start, and it is typically listed in the before start checklist.


Thanks for the article and information. Very helpful.

I wish it were more convenient to toggle the lights. It’s difficult to switch menus if not on autopilot.


Great thread.

Can you write something about landing lights? After some browsing of various forums and some IFFG threads, I’ve been using them in the following manner:

  • turn them on for taxi.
  • turn them off if I have to stop somewhere en route to my departure runway (except 1st in line for departure)
  • keep them on otherwise, and switch off above 10,000 feet unless poor visibility is involved.

Since they’re sort of combined landing/taxi lighting, that’s what I tend to follow.

1 Like

I think it’s time for a reminder for the use of Strobe Lights. It really bothers me when I see 7 planes in line waiting for takeoff and 6 of them have strobes on. As the the other users said: Strobes are a STRONG sign on an airfield so please use them correctly. Adds more realism to the game.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

You only put on strobe lights when you on the hold story postion

1 Like

But I don’t when you out then on on landings

Strobes only go on when entering the runway, and only come off when you are exiting the runway after landing. Strobes are not on for pushback.

1 Like

What about if your taxing toward a runway but you have to cross a runway to you then turn STROBES on when you cross the runway and leave them on or you turn them on while crossing then turn them off until you are cleared to enter the runway to takeoff?

strobe lights on BEFORE runway crossing and OFF when you have crossed the runway completely. When you get your takeoff clearance while holding short for example you can turn them on again

Time for a reminder for A LOT of pilots I’ve just seen on Advanced Düsseldorf.

When I was learning to fly long ago my CFI taught me the “lights, Camera, Action” call out. It simply means turn on your strobes, landing lights when crossing the hold short line for takeoff.

Only the A/C beacon and taxi light when nessesary should be on during taxi.

Smaller aircraft that have no rotating beacon use strobes when operating.

Nav lights on dusk through dawn.

1 Like