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I live by Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tx and have lived here 18 years and was also Airborne in the Ay and I just saw a small private aircraft fly above me with 3 flashing lights with 2 on each wingtip and one underneath the aircraft. Before the aircraft flew over my house a helicopter fly over as well with 2 flashing white lights underneath it. What do these flashing red lights mean since I’ve never seen those lights before. Normally they have their anti-collision lights on but not this time. Air traffic above my house seems out of the ordinary lately

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  • $\begingroup$ I understand the colors on each wingtip for the purpose of direction of flight and anti-collision being red, green and white on aircraft but my question is why all red this time? You wouldn’t be able to distinguish if the aircraft is going left to right or right to left or coming straight forward. The helicopter had 2 white strobe lights instead of the green and red. I’m no aviation expert but I have been around this airspace for almost 20 years. I really didn’t understand if I had a reference statement. Thank you $\endgroup$ Aug 2, 2023 at 13:06
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    $\begingroup$ Would you please clarify your question? What time of day/night was this? Also, you say (with respect to an aircraft) "....3 flashing lights with two on each wingtip and one underneath." (that totals 5 lights). You also say that the helicopter had "2 flashing white lights underneath it." - and then you go on to ask what do these "...flashing red lights mean..."? Were these lights red or white? Your question, to me, is very confusing. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Aug 2, 2023 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ The time of night was around 9:30 pm. I’m sorry if I confused anyone but I meant to say there was a red light on each wingtip and one one the underside of the plane so that totals 3 red lights with no additional lights. They were not the usual anti collision lights of red and green. On the helicopter, there was 2 blinking WHITE lights underneath the helicopter. Hopefully this clears up my question. If images were allowed to be uploaded on this site I could have done so to clear any confusion $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2023 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ You can upload images. Just click the edit link on your question and look for the image upload icon at the top of the box your question is located within. $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Aug 4, 2023 at 1:46

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The blinking wingtip and fuselage strobe lights serve as anti-collision warnings, so pilots can more easily spot other planes in their vicinity, even in full daylight.

All small helicopters have two red lights on them so you can tell it's a helicopter from the ground at night.

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    $\begingroup$ "All small helicopters have two red lights on them so you can tell it's a helicopter from the ground at night." Do you have a reference for this statement? Thanks $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Aug 1, 2023 at 23:08

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