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Are there any circumstances where US aircraft don't have wingtip navigation lights?

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posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 02:15 PM
I was riding home from work the other day with a friend on highway I-70 a ways east of St Louis, near the end of the ride I spotted something odd in the sky flying at what looked like around 1-2,000 ft (fairly low for a plane) at about a 45 degree angle over the interstate. What struck me about it was that it had no flashing navigation lights like what I thought was standard on all aircraft in the US. It had one red(?) light in the center and one white light just behind it, neither of them flashing. I heard no sound, but music was on from the truck radio. I looked for a shape but it was too dark to discern anything, first I thought I saw a triangle and then I thought I saw cessna wings.

My friend commented that he thought it looked like it was flying a different direction than the lights would have you believe. You could chalk this down to whats called "crabbing" in a small aircraft, or when the wind pushes the plane to an extent you have to angle the plane in order to fly a certain heading, though it wasn't a particularly windy day and the plane/ufo was fairly low flying.

So... I want to pose this question to ATS: Are there any circumstances where US aircraft don't have these flashing wingtip navigation lights?
edit on 18-11-2012 by RSF77 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 02:30 PM
When they are TR-3Bs or Aurora's i imagine they have no visible navigation lights. LoL

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 03:03 PM
reply to post by RSF77

As a FAA licensed aircraft mechanic, private pilot, and US Air Force veteran I can assure you that you have no idea what you are talking about. The lights you are mentioning are called navigation lights and they do not blink. You have red for the left wingtip, green for the right wing tip, and white for the tail. These lights are on during the early morning, dusk, and evening hours. There are two red strobe lights on most commericial aircraft as well as military and they are located on the bottom and top of the fuselage and known as anti collision lights. These lights have to blink at least 60 times per minute as required by the FAR's....

As far as crabbing goes, just because the wind is steady at ground level doesnt mean that it is the same at 100 feet in the air, let alone 1000+.... a example of this is go into a stream or river, just because the current is calm at the bank does not mean that it is 20 feet in.

As far as to what you could have been seeing I most likely wasn't a cessna because even at a flight level of 2000+ feet a small aircraft only 20 feet in length and 30 in wingspan looks like a dot, what you were probably seeing was a B2 Spirit as they are based in Missouri near St Louis.

Also if what you saw was a solid Red light and a solid White light, you were witnessing a plane making a left hand roll as you were looking at it from aft of the tail
edit on 18-11-2012 by perpetrator76 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 03:07 PM
If they are not on!

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 03:23 PM
reply to post by RSF77

As has been pointed out, the nav lights do NOT blink, but the anti-collision lights do.

However, the "landing lights" that are turned on during approach can be so bright that they can obscure the anti-collision lights to many observers on the ground -- depending of point-of-view of that observer.

I have seen planes on many, many occasions where the blinking lights are not visible.

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 03:28 PM
Once I saw like seven or nine stars in the sky flying in a formation(like a v) of sort it was so far away it looked like stars nothing else. It was 11pm give or take flying west bound I'm in Michigan it was summer I don't know if it was UFO but it was strange never seen anything like it before. Also I saw twice this white jelly fish like thing both times heading west also it moved slow and I guarantee it was no balloon. It moves slow and looks like it's moving in water not air. The second time I seen it it was starting to get dark I took a pic but my cheap cell phone and low light didn't cut it.

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 11:23 PM

...I can assure you that you have no idea what you are talking about...

Well I can assure you that there are more cordial ways to participate in a constructive adult conversation that promotes substantial thoughts and ideas and learning. A person so highly credentialed should recognize this and monopolize on the opportunity to do some teaching and education.

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