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I've seen the light gun signals chart a hundred times but I don't quite understand when it says "use extreme caution" when you alternating green and red signals.

What does that mean exactly? Do I just treat the airport like a class E airport and just land based on my own discretion given I observe the pattern traffic? Or do I go around? Or do I have the option of doing whichever action I want to take (within safety realms)?

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  • $\begingroup$ You wouldn't treat it like a class E airport, because it isn't. Tower controllers are the ones emitting those light gun signals, and if you know what alternating red and green means, then you probably know what green means. That's the one you are waiting for! Good question though, I have wondered this myself because there isn't any clear expectation of what the pilot should do stated... $\endgroup$ Jan 14 at 1:21
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From FAA Order JO7110.65

3-2-2. WARNING SIGNAL
Direct a general warning signal, alternating red and green, to aircraft or vehicle operators, as appropriate, when:
NOTE-
The warning signal is not a prohibitive signal and can be followed by any other light signal, as circumstances permit.
a. Aircraft are converging and a collision hazard exists.
b. Mechanical trouble exists of which the pilot might not be aware.
c. Other hazardous conditions are present which call for intensified pilot or operator alertness. These conditions may include obstructions, soft field, ice on the runway, etc.

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  • $\begingroup$ @randomhead- Sorry. I did a search, found a document on faa.gov and linked and quoted. I didn’t think to check the rev. $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Jan 13 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ I'm still a bit unclear on what to do here. Would I just continue flying in and just be more alert or circle in position? Or am I supposed to expect another light signal after they issue the warning signal? $\endgroup$
    – Jonathan
    Jan 15 at 8:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Jonathan - The other light gun signals tell you what to do. This one just says “But also be careful because there could be a collision hazard or you might have a mechanical problem or there may be another hazardous condition.” I might first check a, b, or c depending on what phase of flight I was in when I saw the signal. $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Jan 15 at 12:25

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