nav lights

What is the regulation for nav light during day? By Part 91.209 I don’t have to turn it on during day time, but what do they do in airline?

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You should always have nav and beacon lights on apart from when in gate stationary.


i never turn my nav lights off, they stay on all the time. and i only keep my beacon on when the engines are running


Strobes and beacons are considered anti-collision lights.

Anti-collision lights, if the plane has them, should be used whenever the engine is running except when they interfere with ground operations. Strobes do not have to be used all the time if a beacon is on.

Navigation lights should be used during night operations.

I think it’s optional on day time. Individual choice.

You don’t use nav while at ramp or taxing. That’s law

I was at EHAM just a few days ago and really studied the planes at the gate. Most planes had there NAV lights turned ON, even though they were stationary parked at the gate with their engines turned off.

(I dont know if there is some sort of regulation for the NAV lights, but i figured that it might help ATC from the tower to see how a plane is parked when heavy fog is coming in (red light is left wing, green light is right wing)

Turning on NAV lights is personally one of the first things i do when coming online on IF.

You mean lights on the wingtip red and green was always on?

Yes, thats what i mean @GatwickGuy .

i actually do think its mandatory for airplanes to have their NAV lights turned on during daytime flying.

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the NAV lights are on when the aircraft is parked to indicate the presence of someone inside the cockpit (pilots, mechanics …)

May be most pilot do in daytime, it’s not prohibited, it’s optional. Maybe airlines likes to use them.

Strobes and landing lights should never be on at the ramp or when taxiing. The beacon should be turned on as soon as pushback clearance is given and anytime engines are on. Nav lights for commercial aircraft should always be on if someone is in the cabin. Strobe should be turned on as soon as takeoff clearance is given or when cleared to cross a runway. They should be turned off immediately after exiting the runway. Landing lights on the ground should only be turned on once positioned on the runway and anytime below 10,000ft.

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One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing people taxi with strobes on.

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Don’t know about it being law not to use them, however think that rule says you don’t have too use the Nav lights during day time. However most commercial flights I have been on the Nav lights are on when boarding.

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Ours are always on, more lights = Can be seen.

I usually have my Nav lights on at night as well as all of them but once I hit cruising altitude I’ll turn the them all off EXCEPT Nav AND strobe. I usually have nav lights off during the day… (I don’t really see need for them to be on) (:

My policy is nav lights on as soon as I’m at the gate, I’ve been at countless airports and the theme is that the nav lights are always on-matter of fact I don’t think I’ve seen a plane with them off even during daytime. Beacons on the pushback as they’re supposed to be on prior to start as a warning to the ramp personnel, then strobes and landing lights when entering the runway to takeoff or crossing a runway, in flight-landing lights off above 10K going uphill and back on at 10K going downhill

Are you saying all the planes parked at the gate have their nav lights on even before pushback and engine starts? On day time only sign I see the plane is gonna depart when I see baggage loading or catering truck parked next to it.

As someone mentioned above already, the common practice is that the cockpit crew has Nav lights on when they are on board to indicate to the outside world that the aircraft is “manned”. Not a rule but as I said common practice

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I try to keep things as realistic as possible and follow REAL LIFE rules regarding usage of aircraft lights … here’s info I found. Hopefully it’s helpful.

Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM)

4-3-23. Use of Aircraft Lights

a. Aircraft position lights are required to be lighted on aircraft operated on the surface and in flight from sunset to sunrise. In addition, aircraft equipped with an anti-collision light system are required to operate that light system during all types of operations (day and night). However, during any adverse meteorological conditions, the pilot-in-command may determine that the anti-collision lights should be turned off when their light output would constitute a hazard to safety (14 CFR Section 91.209). Supplementary strobe lights should be turned off on the ground when they adversely affect ground personnel or other pilots, and in flight when there are adverse reflection from clouds.

b. An aircraft anti-collision light system can use one or more rotating beacons and/or strobe lights, be colored either red or white, and have different (higher than minimum) intensities when compared to other aircraft. Many aircraft have both a rotating beacon and a strobe light system.

c. The FAA has a voluntary pilot safety program, Operation Lights On, to enhance the see-and-avoid concept. Pilots are encouraged to turn on their landing lights during takeoff; i.e., either after takeoff clearance has been received or when beginning takeoff roll. Pilots are further encouraged to turn on their landing lights when operating below 10,000 feet, day or night, especially when operating within 10 miles of any airport, or in conditions of reduced visibility and in areas where flocks of birds may be expected, i.e., coastal areas, lake areas, around refuse dumps, etc. Although turning on aircraft lights does enhance the see-and-avoid concept, pilots should not become complacent about keeping a sharp lookout for other aircraft. Not all aircraft are equipped with lights and some pilots may not have their lights turned on. Aircraft manufacturer’s recommendations for operation of landing lights and electrical systems should be observed.

d. Prop and jet blast forces generated by large aircraft have overturned or damaged several smaller aircraft taxiing behind them. To avoid similar results, and in the interest of preventing upsets and injuries to ground personnel from such forces, the FAA recommends that air carriers and commercial operators turn on their rotating beacons anytime their aircraft engines are in operation. General aviation pilots using rotating beacon equipped aircraft are also encouraged to participate in this program which is designed to alert others to the potential hazard. Since this is a voluntary program, exercise caution and do not rely solely on the rotating beacon as an indication that aircraft engines are in operation.

e. Prior to commencing taxi, it is recommended to turn on navigation, position, anti­collision, and logo lights (if equipped). To signal intent to other pilots, consider turning on the taxi light when the aircraft is moving or intending to move on the ground, and turning it off when stopped or yielding to other ground traffic. Strobe lights should not be illuminated during taxi if they will adversely affect the vision of other pilots or ground personnel.

f. At the discretion of the pilot­in­command, all exterior lights should be illuminated when taxiing on or across any runway. This increases the conspicuousness of the aircraft to controllers and other pilots approaching to land, taxiing, or crossing the runway. Pilots should comply with any equipment operating limitations and consider the effects of landing and strobe lights on other aircraft in their vicinity.

g. When entering the departure runway for takeoff or to “line up and wait,” all lights, except for landing lights, should be illuminated to make the aircraft conspicuous to ATC and other aircraft on approach. Landing lights should be turned on when takeoff clearance is received or when commencing takeoff roll at an airport without an operating control tower.

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I never turn off my NAV lights. I only turn off landing Lights when pass FL100

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