Aircraft Anti-Collision Lights

Airplanes are made more visible by the use anticollision lights. The configuration of the anticollision lighting varies between airplanes. Some airplanes are marked by a red rotating beacon, while others may be marked by a white strobe light. Combinations of lights or multiple lights are also common, where necessary when the aircraft shields visibility of the anticollision lights at certain angles.

If an airplane has anticollision lights, those lights must be on at all times the airplane is operated, unless the pilot determines that they should be left off in the interest of safety.

Navigation Lights

Airplanes are marked with colored navigation lights for night flying. A red light is placed on the left wingtip, a green light on the right wingtip, and a white light on the tail.

You can remember that the word port is shorter than the word starboard, just like the word red is shorter than the word green.

If you see a green light, you are looking at the airplane's right wing. So, you would expect it to move from left to right.

If you see a white light and a red flashing light at night, you'll know that you are seeing the airplane's tail and rotating beacon. Therefore, the airplane is flying away from you. Just make sure you don't confuse the white tail light with the bright white landing light that may also be illuminated at night. Most general aviation airplane's turn their landing light off when not in the traffic pattern, while most commercial or jet airplanes use landing lights at all times below 18,000 feet.

Navigation lights are required to be in use between sunset and sunrise.