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RAF Taillight

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  • RAF Taillight

    Although the red/green side nav lights are installed on my newly purchased RAF 2000, there is no white taillight as required for full compliance with night flying. No place looks inviting. Can somebody send a photo of where their taillight is mounted?
    @ 6450' MSL in W. Colo.

  • #2
    On the mast below the rotorhead. In the photo you can see where.

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    • #3
      The Predator uses Whelen position lights mounted on the mast.
      Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI


      • #4
        I used AeroLED NSP units on my experimental plane.


        • #5
          If you are planning on flying at night, in addition to a private pilots license, you will need all the Night VFR Instrument requirements specified in CFR 91.205, including APPROVED Navigation and Position lights and APPROVED Flashing/Strobe Anti-Collision lights.

          APPROVED means that the Lights will need to meet the requirements of the TSO Lighting Standard for brightness and coverage.
          They are Not Cheap!
          The AeroLeds Pulsar shown above runs ~$850.
          Aveo Engineering has a Nav/Position/Strobe set available for under $800.
          They mount on the side of the aircraft and project the Red/Green light Forward, Whites to the Rear, And Strobes all around.

          Any random set of Red/Green/White lights will not do.
          There are many lights available that do not meet the TSO Standard. Marketed primarily to the Ultralight market.
          These Voluntary Lights, while admittedly add a safety factor, are essentially Bling add to an aircraft that did not require lights in the first place. They just look official.

          It is unlikely that your current lights meet the standard or else the Position and Anticollision lights would already have been installed as a set.
          What Make/Model are your current Nav lights?


          • #6
            I will double-check with my EAA Tech Counselor, but I don't concur with your "TSO" requirement, although I am sure all lighting must comply with FAR 23.1385 - 23.1397, where position light requirements are defined, and then 23.1401 where the anti-collision lighting requirements are defined. The lights that were installed by the builder are DOT SAE P2PC-94 "clearance lights". There is a pulsing red beacon below the cabin. There is a third Nav Light wire that disappears into the keel aft but otherwise not seen.

            I like the aft of rotor mast mounting for the white tail light and will pursue that. I am certain this meets the FAR requirements above in spite of the Sparrowhawk tail. I am also considering a uAvionix SkyBeacon ADS-B installation. Gyros are kinda small, slow, and not so easy to spot in the daytime too!
            CFI-ASMEL-IA, A&P
            @ 6450' MSL in W. Colo.


            • #7
              Do not assume I stated that the lights need to be TSO Certified. They do Not!
              They just need to be APPROVED Lights that meet the same requirements as the TSO'd lights.

              APPROVED to the TSO Standard means they meet the requirements of FAR23.1385 - 23.1397 as you stated.

              The $800 Approved lights are also available as Certified lights with all the accompanying paperwork for about $1200.
              If you do not need the paperwork, which you do not, you can save $400 in un-needed paperwork.

              The approved lights and the Certified lights look identical in the air as the only difference between them is the paperwork in a folder on the ground.

              I was only trying to point out that there are dozens of Non-Approved lights available that are perfectly suitable for use as Day VFR "Voluntary" lights.
              They look official but are not legal if you actually are going to fly Night VFR

              If you have DOT "Clearance Lights", Trailer Lights, they are almost certainly Not Approved.
              A Red DOT Light covers 180 of spread and is under 1 Candle bright.

              A Red Approved Aviation NAV light cover no more than 110 and is 40 candles bright straight ahead diminishing to 5 candles at the 110 Aft Limit.

              At night, the DOT Lights look like a nice Red light. Visible for maybe a mile. Perfectly fine for the highway.
              At night, the Red Aviation NAV Lights are "Painfully Bright" and easily visible for 5 miles.
              Last edited by Uncle Willie; 07-23-2018, 08:55 AM.


              • #8
                Good points. My local DAR agrees!
                CFI-ASMEL-IA, A&P
                @ 6450' MSL in W. Colo.