Nav Light Usage

I see alot of conflicting instructions on using nav lights, so I need an end-all-be-all answer.

From my understanding, nav lights come on at sunset and are turned off at sunrise. Many tutorials, however, state nav lights are to be used throughout the flight regardless of time. Which is it?

Your second statement is correct. Nav lights should be used throughout your flight :)

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What I do:
When the APU or Engines are on, I keep the nav lights on.

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I just turn on my NAV lights when the master battery is on.

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Yall sure you aren’t getting them confused with beacon lights? Everywhere on the internet says anti-collision lights (beacons) are used all the time, and position lights (nav lights) are only required during the nighttime.

The consensus on the IFC says nav lights are used all the time, but everywhere else says otherwise lol. Really confusing…

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I’ll begin turning my Nav Lights on before pushback to signal that I am going to commence my movement.

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I thought that’s what beacon lights are used for…?

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NAV lights should be turned on throughout the whole flight… even if it’s in the day.

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I usually use beacon lights to signal my engine start

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forgot to add that I’ll use this regardless of time. Some players don’t calibrate their time to the real world time btw so sometimes the difference between their screens can be as different as literally day and night.

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from my Understanding, Nav Lights are on whenever the Aircraft is powered… Everytime I go to the Airport and watch planes, they never turn off the nav lights, unless they park the Aircraft and do not move it any time soon again…

beacon, or anti colision lights, have to be on whenever the Aircraft is mooving.

I’m not a pilot but thats my Understanding of it

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Regarding Anti-Collison light systems: 14 CFR 91.209(b) says that if you have an anti-collision light system installed, it needs to be used (day or night) unless the pilot deems it unsafe (taxiing, fog, etc.).

Regarding Navigation/position light systems: 14 CFR 91.209(a) says that you must use position (navigation) lights from sunset to sunrise.

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Nav lights are used through out the flight to tell other pilots that you are about to move in full sentence they are Navigation lights for other pilots,I turn them on when I spawn in because its on IF checklists Beacon light is used for the ground to tell them your ready to pushback and start your engines it is used throughout the flight to say I have my engines on.

Ok, so, basically, the position (nav) lights must be used from sunset to sunrise whenever the aircraft is powered. Often, pilots in real life still use the nav lights during the day
A: from force of habit
B: because it’s best to do everything the same way every time to ensure it is done properly.
There’s nothing to say that position lights can’t be used during the day, so I recommend you use them 24/7 when ever the aircraft is powered as this is what is done in real life, and also for the second reason I gave a moment ago (B).

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Nav lights are used whenever the aircraft have it’s main battery power on or have external power connected doesn’t matter daytime or night time to indicate to others around the plane that the battery power is on. Beacon light is used to indicate that you are moving this aircraft doesn’t matter if the engines are on or off . A good example to this is when the aircraft is being towed . As long as it’s moving the beacon light MUST always be on be it in the air or on the ground.

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Coming from a pilot: NAV lights are turned on when the master battery is turned on, beacon lights are turned on right before pushback.

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NAV lights helps you determine the direction of an aircraft in air. Red + strobes indicates an aircraft flying from right to left . Green + strobes is left to right. If you see both red, green and strobes then an aircraft is flying towards you. If you see only strobe then it is flying away from you. NAV lights are also checked during the external walk around, so they are usually turned on at the gate.

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Nav lights are to be switched on as soon as the aircraft has power from the Battery, and turned off just before turning off the battery. Beacon lights are to be switched on just before engine start up or before it gets moved via tow from ground vehicle. If your aircraft doesnt have a red beacon light like the TBM then strobe or white anti-collision are to be used in place of the Beacon light. Beacons are turned off when engines are fully shut down as they are used to signal that the aircraft is powered and running with engines on, this helps let the ground crew know when to or not to approach the aircraft before push and taxi and also parking. Strobe lights as mentioned before are used in place of the beacon if the aircraft doesnt have it or is primarily turned on just before entering the runway. Do keep in mind that some airports and countries and airlines have specific rules that state they must have strobes on when taxiing but i couldnt tell you or tag a list of these. they are then primarily turned off once you have exited the runway.

Hope this helps and this is factual as i am a pilot and also have researched into this question.

Dm’s are always open if you have any other questions

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