Pre taxi and taxi steps

Nav lights are on all the time, you don’t turn them off at any point when in the air.

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I set flaps during pushback or taxi, then check all ruder functions as well as landing spoilers

Here is my routine from spawning in to takeoff:

  1. Turn on No Smoking sign and Nav lights immediately upon spawning.
  2. Paste my FPL from SimBrief, and plan my approach at my destination airport.
  3. Set autopilot parameters (I will enter my desired altitude, VS, and VR speed. VS and Speed are just there for reminders. The speed I set is to remind me when to rotate, and the VS is to remind me when to enable autopilot.)
  4. Set my weights and fuel
  5. Turn on seatbelts (In real life, the seatbelt sign must be turned off during fuelling, which is why I turn it on after setting my weight and fuel.)
  6. Double check everything
  7. Request pushback and turn on Beacon Light
  8. On pushback clearance, start up engine 2 (on twin engine aircraft) while pushing back. (The reason for starting engine 2 first is because that is what runs the yellow hydraulic system, which controls the brakes.)
  9. Once engine 2 is at idle, start engine 1
  10. Set takeoff flaps (usually 5 degrees, or Flaps 1 on Airbus models)
  11. Request taxi, and taxi to runway upon clearance.
  12. Request takeoff, and upon clearance to enter runway, turn on strobes.
  13. Turn on landing lights prior to beginning takeoff roll.
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Nav lights are only needed at night in the air because in daylight other pilots can see your aircraft. I imagine it saves a very minimal, irrelevant amount of fuel, but that’s not why they’re not required. It’s not so much a case of them not being required during the day as it is a case of them being required during the night to be visible to other aircraft.

Beacon and Nav lights should be on before aircraft moves, push back or taxi. Strobes when entering runway, landing lights when entering runway up to 10000AGL. Engine 2(3&4) as you begin pushback. Engine 1(1&2) after pushback stopped and ready to taxi.

Your start up order is wrong mate. For 4 engine aircraft the order should be 3, 4, 2, 1. It means if there’s something going or gone wrong then one side of the aircraft is still effectively safe for a ground evacuation.

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Tbh I do this exactly, I even set my locked camera to the front wheel so I feel like the pushback truck. I start 2 engines during pushback (though sometimes only 1 in trijets.)

Skyhawk heavy or Mark Denton did a video on when to put strobes and landing lights on

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you should beginn starting your engines during pushback already. otherwise you‘re holding up traffic if you only start your engines after finishing pushback.
beacon should be turned on prior to engine start


Most airlines do leave them on all the time, however, they’re only REQUIRED to be on at night. The only lights required to be on at all times of day in the air are anti-collision lights (strobes and beacons).

Find me an airline that turns them off in the air.

After a quick google search I can’t find any, I’ll let you know if I do. I imagine it’s difficult to know unless you can somehow see them from inside the aircraft. But as I said, regulations do not require them to be turned on during daylight hours. Most airlines require pilots to keep them on all the time, but airline policies are different from regulations.

Do you want to be realistic and try proper procedures or just fly to the FAA regulations?

Well following FAA regulations would be following procedures would it not?

Technically speaking it’s the same level of realism whether they’re turned on or off, depending on which rules you choose to follow. It’s the beauty of flight sims.

Actually you start #2 first because the ground crew is on the Captain’s side, though I believe you may be correct as well :)

That’s what I thought at first too but apparently it is actually because of the hydraulic system, not the ground crew. The crew are too far from the engine to be sucked in even if it was started.

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This text will be blurredMaxSez: Some of you people need to get your head out of your butt and do a bit of research, There is 10 lbs of BS sprewed here. There are multiple pre-Flight & Light Tutorials in the Archive use it. Most annoying when you go from cold and dark to manned the “Beacon” is turned onand remains on till the craft is returned to cold and dark. Here the Aim Extract, multiple related Regs by ID and the Bible most available FREE at I suggest you bookmark this screed lest you forget Again.

Many pilots on aviation forums have asked questions about the recommended standard operating procedures for the use of aircraft lights, especially during the day. You can find detailed recommendations in the AIM, advisory circulars, and in an update to the Pilot’s Handbook of
Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25A).
AIM 4−3−23. Use of Aircraft Lights was updated in the latest edition.
Guidance about using aircraft lights during ground operations also appears in AC91-73B, “Part 91 and Part 135 Single-Pilot Procedures during Taxi Operations.”
h. Use of Exterior Aircraft Lights to Make Aircraft More Conspicuous.
(1) General. Exterior aircraft lights may be used to make an aircraft operating on the airport surface more conspicuous. Pilots may use various combinations of exterior lights to convey their location and intent to other pilots. Certain exterior lights may also be used in various combinations to signal whether the aircraft is on a taxiway or on a runway, in position on the runway but holding for takeoff clearance, crossing an active runway, or moving down the runway for takeoff.
NOTE: Because adherence to the guidelines in this AC are voluntary and aircraft equipment varies, pilots are cautioned not to rely solely on the status of an aircraft’s lights to determine the intentions of the pilot(s) of the other aircraft. Additionally, pilots must remember to comply with operating limitations on the aircraft’s lighting systems.
(2) Because adherence to the guidelines in this AC are voluntary and aircraft equipment varies, pilots are cautioned not to rely solely on the status of an aircraft’s lights to determine the intentions of the pilot(s) of the other aircraft. Additionally, pilots must remember to comply with operating limitations on the aircraft’s lighting systems.
(2) Exterior Lights. To the extent possible and consistent with aircraft equipage, operating limitations, and pilot procedures, pilots should illuminate exterior lights as follows:
(a) Engines Running. Turn on the rotating beacon whenever an engine is running.
(b) Taxiing. Prior to commencing taxi, turn on navigation, position, anti-collision, and logo lights, if available. 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, yielding, or as a consideration to other pilots or ground personnel. Strobe lights should not be illuminated during taxi if they will adversely affect the vision of other pilots or ground personnel.
(c) Crossing a Runway. All exterior lights should be illuminated when crossing a runway.
CAUTION: Pilots should consider any adverse effects to safety that illuminating the forward facing lights will have on the vision of other pilots or ground personnel during runway crossings.
(d) Entering the Departure Runway for Takeoff or LUAW. When entering a runway after being cleared for takeoff, or when taxiing into position and hold, pilots should make their aircraft more conspicuous to aircraft on final behind them and to ATC by turning on lights (except landing lights) that highlight the aircraft’s silhouette. Strobe lights should not be illuminated if they will adversely affect the vision of other pilots.
(e) At Night, and When Cleared to LUAW. Consider lining up slightly (approximately 3 feet) to the left or right of the centerline (CL) to enable a landing aircraft to visually differentiate your aircraft from the runway lights.
(f) Takeoff. Landing lights should be turned on when takeoff clearance is received, or when commencing takeoff roll at an airport without an operating control tower.

You can also find guidance, including the below reproducible handy table, in Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge – Appendix 1, Runway Incursion Avoidance, an update to the PHAK published in April 2012. END



Plase search before posting. There are at least a dozen threads on how to use lights. Lets not turn this into another.

Fixed it. Thanks for pointing that out!

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the hydraulics systems are only relevant if you are doing a one engine taxi. if both engines are to be started before taxi-ing the hydraulics issue isn’t relevant and would not be a factor in deciding which engine to start first