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Thread: Airport Marker Beacons?

  1. #1
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    Question Airport Marker Beacons?

    Hey,
    What do the diffrent lights mean on an airport beacon?

    Ive seen that civilian ones go White Green White Green White Green
    and Military ones go Whitewhite Green Whitewhite Green Whitewhite Green

    But What does the yellow mean?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty3xVrkvKBo

    Thanks,
    -Jonathan

  2. #2
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    Oh, you mean the Airport Rotating Beacons! I thought you were meaning the OMI (Outer, Middle, Inner) markers found on many (but not all) approaches. That's a good question, I'll watch for the answer, too...

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    Quote Originally Posted by InsyleM View Post
    Hey,
    What do the diffrent lights mean on an airport beacon?

    Ive seen that civilian ones go White Green White Green White Green
    and Military ones go Whitewhite Green Whitewhite Green Whitewhite Green

    But What does the yellow mean?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty3xVrkvKBo

    Thanks,
    -Jonathan


    The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) Chapter 2 has that information, along with other airport lighting information
    :

    • The total number of flashes are:

      1. 24 to 30 per minute for beacons marking airports, landmarks, and points on Federal airways.
      2. 30 to 45 per minute for beacons marking heliports.

    • b. The colors and color combinations of beacons are:

      1. White and Green-Lighted land airport.
      2. *Green alone-Lighted land airport.
      3. White and Yellow-Lighted water airport.
      4. *Yellow alone-Lighted water airport.
      5. Green, Yellow, and White-Lighted heliport.

    • NOTE-
      *Green alone or yellow alone is used only in connection with a white-and-green or white-and-yellow beacon display, respectively.
    • c. Military airport beacons flash alternately white and green, but are differentiated from civil beacons by dualpeaked (two quick) white flashes between the green flashes.
    • d. In Class B, Class C, Class D and Class E surface areas, operation of the airport beacon during the hours of daylight often indicates that the ground visibility is less than 3 miles and/or the ceiling is less than 1,000 feet. ATC clearance in accordance with 14 CFR Part 91 is required for landing, takeoff and flight in the traffic pattern. Pilots should not rely solely on the operation of the airport beacon to indicate if weather conditions are IFR or VFR. At some locations with operating control towers, ATC personnel turn the beacon on or off when controls are in the tower. At many airports the airport beacon is turned on by a photoelectric cell or time clocks and ATC personnel cannot control them. There is no regulatory requirement for daylight operation and it is the pilot's responsibility to comply with proper preflight planning as required by 14 CFR Section 91.103.

    Larry N.

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    Wow cool info, thanks
    I would have guessed that yellow ment heliport, because
    I Work at an Army Heliport and the beacon flashes yellow
    green, and the two quick whites, as you said for the military.
    But as far as lighted?
    At night its DARK. I see taxiway edge lighting ocasionaly but
    alot/most of the time it's off...

    I hear they do that so that the pilots arnt blinded or what not by the lights.

  5. #5
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    Actually, it's not that the pilots are blinded by the lights, but they do turn them off to keep cars from using it as a dragstrip...the deuces, you know, the runners in the night?

    One of these days I'll come up with a pun so bad that Nels himself will ban me from here for life. That'll be the day I shave my head or something...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsyleM View Post
    Wow cool info, thanks
    I would have guessed that yellow ment heliport, because
    I Work at an Army Heliport and the beacon flashes yellow
    green, and the two quick whites, as you said for the military.
    But as far as lighted?
    At night its DARK. I see taxiway edge lighting ocasionaly but
    alot/most of the time it's off...

    I hear they do that so that the pilots arnt blinded or what not by the lights.
    Pilot controlled lighting is available at a lot of fields around the country/world. A specified number of keyups on the Unicom freq turns them on, at varying intensities (depending on the field, too). They go off after a set time, usually somewhere around 10 to 15 minutes.

    As Chairborne mentioned, it's not because of blinding pilots, but energy conservation and cost savings (a LOT of lights equals a lot of kilowatts equals a lot of money, and maintenance such as bulb replacement is also costly) are usually major factors. There are likely a few places where his "drag strip" comment is valid, as well.

    Larry N.

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