Help me understand anti-collision lighting requirements

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by woodchucker, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    a) Beacon inop Strobes good. Fly or not?
    b) Strobes inop Beacon good. Fly or not?
    c) Beacon inop No strobes. Fly or not?

    Looking for a better reasoning/understanding in these scenarios.
    My personal understanding is that if any installed anti-collision lighting (beacon/strobe) is inop then the plane is grounded. So, situation (c) is grounded for sure. But (a) or (b)?
     
  2. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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  3. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    You need beacon or strobes, not both.
     
  4. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    Read the FAR and your airplane manual, comprehensive equipment list, kinds of equipment list, or MEL.
     
  5. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Beyond the FARS -

    Some certificates airplanes have a Kinds Of Equipment List (KOEL) where the manufacturer dictates equipment that must be operational for certain types of flying. The KOEL creates another level of compliance. I have seen lists which said the strobes were an anti collision substitution and some that said you needed both. Check your POH.
     
  6. Domenick

    Domenick Line Up and Wait

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  7. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    What lights are required is determined by the date of the aircraft’s type certificate. Common sense says if you believe anti-collision lights work? More is better. Both of my own planes use wingtip and tail strobes plus a 360° beacon on the fin and also have flashing landing and taxi lights. If one stops working you aren’t grounded.

    From CFR91.205(c)

     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
  8. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Add

    91.209 Aircraft lights.

    No person may:
    (b) Operate an aircraft that is equipped with an anticollision light system, unless it has lighted anticollision lights. However, the anticollision lights need not be lighted when the pilot-in-command determines that, because of operating conditions, it would be in the interest of safety to turn the lights off.

    (The strobes and beacon are part of the system.)



    §91.205 Powered civil aircraft with standard category U.S. airworthiness certificates: Instrument and equipment requirements.

    (11) For small civil airplanes certificated after March 11, 1996, in accordance with part 23 of this chapter, an approved aviation red or aviation white anticollision light system. In the event of failure of any light of the anticollision light system, operation of the aircraft may continue to a location where repairs or replacement can be made.
     
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  9. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Read the reg, once you stop where the repair can be made you are done and 91.213 Inoperative Equipment and 91.209 Aircraft Lights come into play.

    “In the event of failure of any light of the anticollision light system, operations with the aircraftmay be continued to a stop where repairs or replacement can be made.”
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
  10. JAWS

    JAWS Cleared for Takeoff

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    New 172's (G1000) require the wingtip strobes. As was said, depends on the specific aircraft.
     
  11. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    According to a 2017 interpretation from the FAA's Office of the Chief Counsel, if an aircraft has both strobes and a beacon, they are all considered to be part of the same system and must all be operational. :(

    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_or...ps/2017/Letts - 2017 Legal Interpretation.pdf
     

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  12. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    In airplanes certificated after????? My 1975 airplane doesn’t require anything for day VFR. Night VFR is different. Read the regs as they apply to YOUR airplane.
     
  13. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Some newer bonanzas have something that looks like a beacon on the vertical stab but is officially a 'marker light'. In that configuration, the strobes become the only approved ACL. In the older configuration with a beacon, the strobes are a nice to have addition.
     
  14. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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  15. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I'm not an attorney, so the following is not authoritative:

    Referring to the regulation excerpts quoted in post #8, it is true that 91.205(b)(11) says that aircraft certificated on or before March 11, 1996 are not required to have an anticollision light system for day VFR, but 91.209(b) appears to say that if the aircraft does have them, then they must be lighted. No mention of the certification date is made in that section, so it's not clear to me whether the exception in 91.205(b)(11) applies to 91.209(b).

    I'm also not clear on whether the deactivation-and-placarding option in 91.213(d) can be used as an exception to the 91.209(b) requirement.
     
  16. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Another CFR that requires the use of non-required equipment. Leave it to government.

    I’m a fan of lighting my airplanes in excess of required equipment so the reg has little influence on me. I’ve knocked a few wingtip strobes off and didn’t know until later yet I flew in and out of controlled airspace without comment. Once identified did I fix them? Yes, because I like being seen by other planes, not because of the regs.
     
  17. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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