Flashing on Crash-8's! | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Flashing on Crash-8's!

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Groundfeeder

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Now that I have your attention, I have a query that requires confirmation that could only probably come from this forum.

Recently ensconsed in the ROK QP enjoying their daylight libations, I noticed that a Crash-8 when taxiing towards the gate had its main landing lights flashing alternatively. This was interesting cause most aircraft have their landing lights doused by the time they arrive at the gate - probably to remove the likelihood of blinding humans.

I thought to myself that maybe the Capt was a beast and making the FO undertake this flashing task as some sort of intro to Rockvegas. About to board said Crash-8 for return to BNE, I noticed another on final with its landing lights in the same sequence which got me wondering.

Is this simply a signal to the ground staff to warm the Captains pies in the terminal microwave or have the Crash-8's just got dodgy light wiring?

The only answer I could reach was that Crash-8's have a history of bird strikes, usually hitting the aircraft from behind, due to that aircraft's low cruise speed and maybe the lights are a warning to the airborne flocks to take avoiding action!!!!

Any reliable confirmation would be gratefully accepted.
 

Mal

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My understanding is that it is done as a safety precaution so that the bigger planes don't run them down on the tarmac. There is a size difference between a Dash-8 and a 737, or even a 747!

Will have to do some research on this...

As for the bird strikes, I believe it is because stupid birds think the Dash-8 is actually a potential partner and tries to mate with it. Darwinism is alive and well in the bird colonies!
 

serfty

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:shock: Gawd, with a thread title like that I had visions of some poor bugger falling out of the lavatory with thier pants around their ankles (during a period of sudden turbulance?). :oops:
 

markis10

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The alternate flashing landlights was an idea that came about following a crash in LAX, when a 737 landed on a propjet and it was only when a fireman asked why the 737 had a propeller embedded in its wing that people realised the propjet had been lost in the sea of anti collision beacons and other lights around an airport.

It was on the 1st Feb 1991, the ATC transcript is here:
http://www.emergency-management.net/air_traffic_control.htm

As you can read, they lost the metro!

All aircraft had port and starboard lights and underbelly collision lights (which get switched off for some strange reason on the FA18's :roll: ), the crash 8s are one of the smaller planes operating at big airports hence their desire to stand out, works well and makes it a lot easier for controllers to spot in the tower as well after a handoff from radar.[/url]
 

Groundfeeder

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6:00:52 SDU518 We have him in sight, we can step over him for two five right.
I'm much more relieved now that I know Crash-8's are used to soften hard landings/intersection conflicts with jet traffic.

Thanks for the info - can I please have seat 25k?[/quote]
 

Commuter

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Groundfeeder,

Sorry to dig up an old thread. If "flashing" you are describing is what I think it is, yes it's indeed a pulsing landing light for bird strike prevention.

(LOL about birds hitting them from behind).
 

Groundfeeder

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Thanks Commuter,

I had a recent feeling in Cairns watching late night approaches from my hotel balcony that a 738 was flashing as well. Then maybe it was just the mid-to-fine wines that I was washing down the neck oil with.

Have they told the birds yet or is it to be part of their fledging process?
 

Commuter

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I think birds have been issued with a warning about airspace incursions. But the trouble is, they don't have a licence that CASA can suspend :p
 

serfty

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Commuter said:
I think birds have been issued with a warning about airspace incursions. But the trouble is, they don't have a licence that CASA can suspend :p
Also, given that it's often difficult to locate any remnants of, let alone the infringing avarian after such an incursion, any such suspension would be redundant! :p
 

Commuter

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I guess they have got the death sentence :eek:

Poor birds. They were here first! :mrgreen:
 

NM

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Commuter said:
I guess they have got the death sentence :eek:

Poor birds. They were here first! :mrgreen:
Hmm, I think there are quite a few QF aircraft that are considerably older than any birds that might cross the same air space ;). Those birds that were around before aircraft are no longer a threat to the paint on the Dash-8 props :p.
 

Groundfeeder

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I would think the new props on the stretch Crash-8 Q400 would provide quite a finer bird mince now, compared to the rough shredding by Q300 or roasting by 737.

Bit of a planning issue but both ends of the Rockvegas strip contains large wetlands with bird roosts and not uncommon to nervously see many on the wing during approach (no, not that wing.)

IIRC Adeloide airport supported a huge bunch of hares, which didn't cause too many problems due to their non-burrowing attitude. But there were a lot of BAD HARE DAYS!!!:oops:
 

markis10

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Safety Officers carry a gun in the car for the purpose of bird fright at most of the major airports. You would be amazed what gets in the way of aircraft at airports some times, including the odd horse at Syd!
 

Anywhichway

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Commuter said...
Groundfeeder,

Sorry to dig up an old thread. If "flashing" you are describing is what I think it is, yes it's indeed a pulsing landing light for bird strike prevention.
The lights are pulsing for bird strike prevention. The idea is that there is a left-right-left movement of the lights which experts say gives more visual clue to the birds of the approaching danger.
The pulsing lights are standard on many biz-jets such as Gulfstream and believe it or not the lights last longer than if they were on all the time. The reason is that they only light up to 90% power and reduce to 10%, so they are never at full power (heat) and don't go off (cool down).
The cockpit switches include the pulse position and can be turned on as normal at any time.
 

Groundfeeder

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Bless you Anywhichway for that kind response.

It was starting to get silly as I was about to ask why they employ and arm Safety Officers who are frightened of birds at most of the major airports. :mrgreen:
 

markis10

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The alternate flashing lights are intended for the purpose I mentioned in my original post, to quote the flight manual :

"With an increased mix of IFR and VFR air traffic, density of ground lighting, strobes and flashing lights on towers, aircraft are extremely difficult to identify...until they are dangerously close. Conventional strobes and beacons are not enough. The system uses the existing landing, taxi or recognition lights on your aircraft and alternates the flashing of the lamps automatically. A steady light can appear stationary but pulsing of one or more lights make motion very apparent to other traffic. The system also increases lamp life up to 20 times longer than normal by varying the intensity of the lamps."

Anyone who has been spotlighting with a shotgun would know that lights have no effect on animals or birds in most cases, other than to stun them.

"Car1, ground - Can you pay a visit to groundfeeder for the purposes of showing him you are not frightened of birds :D "​
 

Commuter

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While pulsing lights do serve the purpose Markis10 mentions as well, I do think that one of the reasons why Sunstate is using is Pulselite system is for bird strike prevention, because QLD is a bit of a bird hazard central.
 
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