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57 votes
Accepted

Why are taxiway and runway centerline lights off center?

The painted line and the lights do not align for a very practical reason: it would be a major pain in the behind to paint over the lights, as each one of them would need to be masked for the painting, ...
Jpe61's user avatar
  • 29.3k
44 votes
Accepted

What was this mystery flash on an airport runway?

It's likely to be a flare / flash bang for bird control. Schiphol uses these (amongst a wide variety of methods). Bird dispersal equipment There are various resources a bird controller can ...
DeltaLima's user avatar
  • 83.6k
25 votes

What was this mystery flash on an airport runway?

Likely a flash-bang for runway bird control. Birds on and near the runway are an ongoing major safety problem (witness the "Miracle on the Hudson", an A320 brought down by a flock of geese shutting ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 17.1k
22 votes

Why would a pilot ask the tower to turn the VASI off?

It could have been a flight instructor with a student that was becoming too reliant on the VASI's slope information for visual approaches to landing, and he wanted to force the student to do without.
Ryan Mortensen's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

Why aren't runways lit from overhead, like highways?

Because the planes might hit them and it's not great for your vision at night. Runway edge lights are not intended to illuminate the runway they are intended to outline it. Proper runway lighting very ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
14 votes
Accepted

What does the flashing green-light signal (return for landing) actually mean to NORDO aircraft?

What I was taught that this meant was ... ... because they could not communicate with you, but they wanted you to not land on this pass (interval a mess, crossing traffic, winds maybe wrong, a dozen ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Do sectional charts indicate which runways have lighting installed?

There is no way to tell which runway is lighted from the sectional chart. You have to check the Chart Supplement. From the FAA Chart Users' Guide (27 January 2022) p. 16: The lighted runway may not ...
quiet flyer's user avatar
  • 22.8k
10 votes

What does the flashing green-light signal (return for landing) actually mean to NORDO aircraft?

My understanding of light gun signals was taught to me a little differently. For simplicity, I will concentrate on light gun signals for airborne aircraft only. Alternating Red and Green is exercise ...
Dean F.'s user avatar
  • 16.5k
7 votes

How come certain airports can have unique rotating beacon colors?

The lighting for private heliports is not regulated by the FAA, but by the individual states. The FAA has an Advisory Circular laying out guidelines for heliports, but it is only a recommendation. ...
TomMcW's user avatar
  • 28.6k
7 votes

Why is there no airport beacon light symbol on the sectional for KSAC, although it does have one?

I believe it's because the beacon doesn't operate continuously. The FAA Aeronautical Chart Users' Guide says: The symbol [...] indicates the existence of a rotating or flashing airport beacon ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.8k
7 votes

What is the speed of the approach lights rabbit?

There are several different systems of Sequenced Flashing Lights, which is the official name for the "rabbit." Generally these flashing lights are spaced 200 feet apart. FAA Order JO 6850.2B ...
randomhead's user avatar
  • 15.9k
6 votes

What lights are used on top of a building or structure near an airport?

The general guidelines are: 4.3 Lighting Systems. Obstruction lighting may be displayed on structures as follows: Aviation Red Obstruction Lights. Use flashing lights and/or steady-burning ...
Gerry's user avatar
  • 20k
6 votes
Accepted

What Are These Runway Lights For?

As for what they are you can find that in the answer to the question here. In terms of how they work its an extension of the basic runway lighting system. There is a nice video discussing the various ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
6 votes
Accepted

What does this indication of '10∼15 degree' that points toward the both edge of runway means?

That image is intended to describe REIL. REIL are are two synchronized flashing lights. They can be either omnidirectional or unidirectional facing the approach area. Unidirectional REIL are ...
Gerry's user avatar
  • 20k
6 votes

What does the flashing green-light signal (return for landing) actually mean to NORDO aircraft?

The answers above are pretty much correct, but it is nice to cite sources. Since the question is relating to studying for a PSTAR and is tagged Canada, first the Canadian sources: Canada ...
user2070305's user avatar
5 votes

How are runway lights constructed?

I presume you are asking about lights that are on the surface of the runway like centerline lights and touch down zone lights. The FAA has an AC that covers their design and installation which you can ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
5 votes
Accepted

Where do airports use 3-bar VASI for the visual glideslope?

Runway 8 at Albuquerque International Sunport Airport (KABQ) has a 3-bar VASI. KABQ's current Chart Supplement page1 lists the VASI for Runway 8 as a VASI(V6L): a ...
5 votes
Accepted

Does pilot-controlled lighting work if you are interrupted by another voice transmission?

From a technical standpoint, it's extremely difficult to tell two different signals on the same frequency apart. So, if someone steps on you while you're trying to turn the lights on, then the ground ...
HiddenWindshield's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

There is a difference in the runway lighting systems symbolized in the planview and the lighting system specified in additional runway information?

HIALS stand for High Intensity Approach Lighting System. (as opposed to MIALS for Medium Intensity...) HIALS is a broad category of different approach lighting configurations, (all high intensity) ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

What is involved in changing runway/taxiway/approach lighting?

To answer your two questions: Unless the runway is a very busy one, or the failure is such that it can have an adverse effect on the safety of operations, runways are not closed to replace failed ...
molgar's user avatar
  • 1,281
4 votes
Accepted

Does runway center lighting increase runway lifetime?

No, runway centreline lights do not increase runway lifetime, and it is not their purpose to do so.
molgar's user avatar
  • 1,281
4 votes
Accepted

Why are runway lights always on?

The answer to the question lies in your statements I deduced that runway lights are kept always on as soon as the day light or weather conditions require it Typically when the visibility drops ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
4 votes

Do seaplane bases ever have marked "runways" or approach lighting?

Are the landing areas marked by buoys or lights? In at least one specific instance, Yes. The seaplanes that operate out of Lake Union, Seattle, have "Advisory Buoys" that help make the many sailboats,...
abelenky's user avatar
  • 30.8k
3 votes

Why are there many different approach lighting systems?

The different systems generally have to do with ILS landings and the ability to have the runway in sight. As approach systems have gotten better and our understanding of flight mechanics and general ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
3 votes
Accepted

How is the ALSF-II approach lighting system built and powered?

The specifications for an ALSF-2 (and other approach lighting systems) can be found in FAA JO 6850.2B - Conveniently titled "Visual Guidance Lighting Systems." As an FAA order these are obviously US-...
voretaq7's user avatar
  • 68.5k
3 votes
Accepted

Are there limitations on taking off or landing if airport lighting such as the VGSI (PAPI) is out of service?

There wouldn't be any limitation on taking off with the VASI/PAPI out of service, unless it involved a requirement to return to the airport where the VGSI would be required (see below). That would be ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.8k
3 votes

Why would there be a NOTAM for an airport rotating beacon being on continuously?

The general convention is that the rotating beacon is only on at night or during IMC. The airport or ATC can choose differently. It would not be the norm and probably should be pointed out to pilots ...
Dean F.'s user avatar
  • 16.5k

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