MaxInquiry: TBM/XCub No Beacons?

MaxAsks: Why don’t the TBM & XCub have Beacon Lights installed like the 172. The aircraft cited have similar FAA airworthiness requirements. Should Beacons be retrofitted to the TBM/XCub in the next update? What say you community!


91.205 Powered civil aircraft with standard category U.S. airworthiness certificates: Instrument and equipment requirements. (a) General. Except as provided in paragraphs ©(3) and (e) of this section, no person may operate a powered civil aircraft with a standard category U.S. airworthiness certificate in any operation described in paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section unless that aircraft contains the instruments and equipment specified in those paragraphs (or FAA-approved equivalents) for that type of operation, and those instruments and items of equipment are in operable conditions.
Equipment (a)
(b) Visual-flight rules (day). For VFR flight during the day, the following instruments and equipment are required:
(1) Airspeed indicator.
(2) Altimeter.
(3) Magnetic direction indicator.
(4) Tachometer for each engine.
(5) Oil pressure gauge for each engine using pressure system.
(6) Temperature gauge for each liquid-cooled engine.
(7) Oil temperature gauge for each air-cooled engine.
(8) Manifold pressure gauge for each altitude engine.
(9) Fuel gauge indicating the quantity of fuel in each tank.
(10) Landing gear position indicator, if the aircraft has a retractable landing gear.

  • (11) For small civil airplanes certificated after March 11, 1996, in accordance with part 23 of this chapter, an approved aviation red or aviation white anticollision light system. In the event of failure of any light of the anticollision light system, operation of the aircraft may continue to a location where repairs or replacement can be made.
  • © Visual flight rules (night). For VFR flight at night, the following instruments and equipment are required:
    *(1) Instruments and equipment specified in paragraph (b) of this section.
    *(2) Approved position lights.
    *(3) An approved aviation red or aviation white anticollision light system on all U.S.-registered civil aircraft. Anticollision light systems initially installed after August 11, 1971, on aircraft for which a type certificate was issued or applied for before August 11, 1971, must at least meet the anticollision light standards of part 23, 25, 27, or 29 of this chapter, as applicable, that were in effect on August 10, 1971, except that the color may be either aviation red or aviation white. In the event of failure of any light of the anticollision light system, operations with the aircraft may be continued to a stop where repairs or replacement can be made.

(4) If the aircraft is operated for hire, one electric landing light.
(5) An adequate source of electrical energy for all installed electrical and radio equipment.
(6) One spare set of fuses, or three spare fuses of each kind required, that are accessible to the pilot in flight.


They don’t have any beacon lights in real life.


For aircrafts that don’t have beacon lights, you can use strobe lights instead.

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@schyllberg… Interesting and factual… Cold &Dark to maned and operational. Just seems counter intuitive not to have a beacon installed. Always taught “ * Beacon - The aircraft beacon lights are red in colour and either flash or rotate to provide a pulsating warning light. They are normally installed in pairs with one on the top of the fuselage and the other on the bottom. The beacon is normally turned on prior to engine start and turned off after engines have been shut down. (anti-collision/strobes different than beacons; distracting on the ground have separate user day night rules…)…

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I know, this was brought up a couple of times during testing. I remember it specifically being discussed quite a lot during TBM Beta. Always something new to learn :)

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One never stops learning even at 78… MaxSends


A customer of mine flies a charter TBM. He’s mentioned before how ground controllers at several airports have asked him to turn off his strobes while taxiing at night time, however his plane isn’t outfitted with a beacon. He’s had to explain this each time with varied reactions, though only a few controllers have been negative about it. Interesting design, I’m not sure why they would omit the beacon in real life.

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Just going to put this here for added sources. There’s an FAA document link, linked at the bottom.


With planes without a beacon light, the white anti-collision lights (strobe lights) serve the role as the beacon

@N1RG…MaxSez: Elementary Watson! Just for grins, every been blinded by that Flashing Strobe emitted by that “Sport Pilot” taxing to the Threshold? @Flightfan84 comment above sez it all. Buyer of new & used aircraft have installation options. Me I’ve self helped installed beacons in a few old high wingers cause, I’m a gentlemen & it a no brainer+ I’m not a Sport… Max


I haven’t. If I see another plane at night taxing or next to me and our engines are started I usually turn off my strobes and have the nav lights on (they are already on at night) until the plane has passed so I don’t blind them

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Neither does the SR22, it has a Beacon Button, but doesn’t actually do anything.


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