Airliner lights question

Date:         26 Oct 98 02:59:48 
From: (Jeff Bowen)
Organization: InterLog Internet Services
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Could someone say a few words to explain the conventions used in the external
lights on airliners?

I love watching aircraft departing and arriving Pearson airport here in
Toronto while I walk my dog in the local park.  We are about 20 miles from the

1.  I've noticed some planes still (already) have landing lights on when they
pass over my park in downtown Toronto but not many.  Is there some point in
the checklist that these lights are turned on and off and I have just seen a
pilot who forgot to turn them off or is it left entirely to the discretion of
the flight crew?

2.  What about the flashing and non-flashing lights on the exterior of
airliners?  What lights are placed where and what is their exact function?

Many thanks in advance.

(the guy who is curious about airplanes)