Re: flashing landing lights?

Date:         03 Nov 97 02:18:55 
From:         Eric Cowan <e-cowan@students.uiuc.edu>
Organization: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
References:   1
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On 24 Oct 1997, R. Adam Fogo wrote:
> Twice in the past 2 days I have observed a business jet flying with its
> landing lights flashing on and off in a continuous rhythm.  The first
> aircraft was a Hawker 125 on approach.  The flashing became a steady on
> when the aircraft was on short final.  The second instance was a Falcon
> 50, with its lights flashing on and off immediately after takeoff.  I did
> not see if they continued flashing.  Could anyone tell me what the
> flashing signifies, if anything?

These types of lights are called sequence lights. I believe their main
purpose (other than looking cool) are to increase visibility on approach
and departure. If I read your post correctly, the lights should be
alternating left-wing, right-wing, left-wing, and so on. Sequence lights
are most often found on bizjets, although you can find some light GA
aircraft with them. Here at the University of Illinois, we have one
Beech Sundowner (four place prop single) in the fleet with those lights.
It's fun to come in at night with the sequencers on--people on the ground
think you're a Hawker or Falcon--at least until short final. ;)

-Eric Cowan
PPL-ASEL, IA