Strobe lights and when to use them

Hey so i recently discovered that a lot of pilots on expert server dont know the correct time to turn on their strobe lights or landing lights.
Here it is, in the real world strobes are used only during entrance to the runaway and after the aircraft has vacated the runway at the destination airport, pilots also turn on strobe lights when crossing a runway as well, landing lights are only used when under 10,000ft above that they are turned off. hope this helps anyone who would read all this.
Your welcome.


Yep, good reminder. Too bad not everyone likes to follow realism.


I really hate to be “that guy” but this is something that a ton of us already know about. The people who don’t follow this rule, likely aren’t on the community to begin with. Plus, there’s an official IF tutorial dedicated to this:

Thank you for taking initiative though!


We appreciate the reminder; however, there are plenty of tutorials out there to help newcomers and give everyone a reminder.

A good example of one that Mark made a while ago is linked below.


Depends on the airplane ;) there are plenty of real world uses for the strobes outside of just being on the active taxiway. Also depends which 'flight rules" you’re flying under.
But yes, you’re correct, it is incredibly frustrating to see someone in a 787 with the strobes on at the gate lol

For all commercial aircraft this is the rule it may be different for VFR aircraft.

Nope, not the case. Again, comes back to which part you’re flying under.

*Part of the FAR’s

This is the rule for all airline operated aircraft but it may be different for smaller planes

Okay, this isn’t that related but aren’t landing lights supposed to be on until 18,000 feet? My dad is an airliner pilot and he says it’s 18,000. Can anyone clarify this?

The way my dad (who is a pilot) told me is that you don’t use strobes or landing lights during taxiing. When you have a line up clearance you only turn on strobes and when you have the takeoff clearance you turn on both of them. Landing lights are used when taking off to 10,000ft and from 10,000ft until you exit the runway. Strobes are used from line up to exiting the runway. That’s how I use them.


It’s SOP dependant. Usually everyone in IF uses 10000. Some people only turn them on when cleared to land.

EDIT: 10000 not 18000

More like everyone just trys to get to gate as fast as possible and forgets about these things…

That’s the correct way

On smaller GA aircraft with no beacon light, strobes are used to signify an engine running/you’re about to move.

I mean for strobes its always off when taxiing and parked but landing lights are more opinionated some turn them off at FL180 or 10,000ft or some people turn them on only when entering a runway or when crossing (me) cause if its night you’ll bet ill turn every light on that puppy. But strobes are a must when on runways if you add landing lights more your decision. Just depends on your flying style

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