AA.... always gotta do it different....


New Member
Hey guys & gals....

I found out a couple of interesting procedures in our operating manuals and want to know your opinion.

1. The MD80 has these little retractable wing landing lights under each wing tip. It also has a dim/bright nose gear light. After having been on this airplane for over three years, I have come to notice that maybe 10% of our captains actually use those wing landing lights for TO and Landing, all they use is the Bright position on the nose light. So I look into the expanded section in our manual, and it actually says that captains should "limit the use of the wing landing lights" because of vibration (they vibrate when extended) and reduced fuel usage. They also don't want the ground flood/wing/nacelle lights (on each side of the fuselage) used for day operations, just at night.

All other MD80 operators are required to use all lights for TO and landing.. wonder why we have to do it different. Seems to me that see and be seen is the best option. Comments, suggestions, opinions?
Retractable wing lights are just one more thing to overspeed.....their speed limits not usually corresponding with gear speeds (but can). Using them for daytime ops you may be gaining some safety margin, or may not be, it all depends. If the plane can have them operating, but the OpSpecs don't want them operating, then the OpsSpecs override. It's not a huge safety issue to not have them on for day ops.
And I thought it was just UPS that did everything different....

I think it's dumb not to use the wing lights at night. During the day, I'd make it a pilot opinion/preference thing but at night they should be on below 10...we keep ours on to 18.

Basically, your management is trying to reduce costs in the name of safety...like that's anything new in the airline biz....

Back when the FAA was all uptight about runway incursions, I seem to remember something about all lights on for takeoff and runway crossings. I know it's in our procedures to do that.
We have retractable lights on the sides of the fuselage on the MD-11/10. We keep them on below 10000', which can be speeds up to 289 kts if we're heavy.
Thanks for the input. I don't think we need to keep them out to 10,000, just because once you hit 250kt they really do vibrate... my suggestion to the flight department was to retract them when the slats retract, around 210, and to extend them when slats extend. Of course they didn't agree (cost savings, again.)

I believe what most of you believe - lights on for safety.

All of this wouldn't even be an issue if McD had put normal landing lights in the wing root!