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EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?

 
Watcher on the Wall
User ID: 878577
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02/01/2010 10:09 PM
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EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
We live on top of a mountain in North Carolina overlooking a valley outside Asheville. A cell tower in the center of the valley (some 20 mls from our home)has always had a red light blinking on it but tonight starting around 7 pm, the red light switched to a VERY bright strobe light that flashes every 2 seconds! (It's quite a nuisance as it is visible from every South facing room in our house!)

This strobe light is SO bright and my first thoughts are that it is some sort of emergency beacon or locator? Has anyone out there seen anything like this before? We have lived here for 4 years and the light on this tower has always been a dim red blink until tonight?

As a side note (or not), we have seen heavy military plane activity beginning this summer over this valley and over our home, especially late at night. We also experienced strange "Boom" sounds this summer that no one here could explain!
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:14 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
It means that they do not want planes to fly too low and hit the tower. OH NOOOOOOOOOO! PANIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Eschatology

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02/01/2010 10:17 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
We live on top of a mountain in North Carolina overlooking a valley outside Asheville. A cell tower in the center of the valley (some 20 mls from our home)has always had a red light blinking on it but tonight starting around 7 pm, the red light switched to a VERY bright strobe light that flashes every 2 seconds! (It's quite a nuisance as it is visible from every South facing room in our house!)

This strobe light is SO bright and my first thoughts are that it is some sort of emergency beacon or locator? Has anyone out there seen anything like this before? We have lived here for 4 years and the light on this tower has always been a dim red blink until tonight?

As a side note (or not), we have seen heavy military plane activity beginning this summer over this valley and over our home, especially late at night. We also experienced strange "Boom" sounds this summer that no one here could explain!
 Quoting: Watcher on the Wall 878577


Probably just a change in lighting. They have them on most towers here in IL., mostly for areas that get a decent amount of fog.
As a man begins to live more seriously within: He begins to live more seriously without.
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:17 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Military has communications systems that use different wavelengths of light to communicate, or it could be a giant deneuralizer!
TARDIS

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02/01/2010 10:19 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Can you take a video and upload it to youtube for us?
Watcher (OP)
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02/01/2010 10:19 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
You are wrong! That is what the blinking red light was there for! This strobe light is 10 times brighter and would probably blind any pilot that flew near!

I am not panicing but simply curious why a tower has all of a sudden changed from red blinking light to brilliant strobe light.

Also, we can see 3 other cell towers from our home on the various mountain tops and they are all still blinking red!

Any other comments? Aside from the shills, that is!
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:20 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Instead of a full hit, try just 1/2 a tab next time
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:22 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
maybe like the red part came off and that's how it looks
under it?
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:22 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Theres a tall tower to the south of Sacramento International airport that has been flashing strobe lights for at least a couple of years. More than one strobe light on the tower and they flash in patterns and different intensities. Ultra high speed communications system?
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:23 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
maybe the red glass covering the light has been broken.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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02/01/2010 10:25 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Probably just a change in lighting. They have them on most towers here in IL., mostly for areas that get a decent amount of fog.
 Quoting: Eschatology



The valley does get a good amount of fog but this particular tower has always had the red light on it. This strobe is definitely something new! Won't rule out fog warning though. Maybe they just switched it out tonight for just that reason.

Certainly a nuisance, though. I hope it doesn'n do this every night as it distracts from our star gazing!
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:27 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
The visitors will be landing shortly. Whatever you do DO NOT GO OUTSIDE!
Watcher (OP)
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02/01/2010 10:30 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
maybe the red glass covering the light has been broken.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 475553


That is what my husband said. We did just have that strong winter storm come through this weekend. Not ruling that out as a possibility.

My intensely ringing ears (and the "tin foil hat" I wear from time to time) cause me to jump straight to the HAARP possibilities, however! I have spent way too much time on these sites!
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:31 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
They must have gotten some stimulus money to improve the safty warning system. Heck with the new stimulus money we may get pretty red strobes on all towers.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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02/01/2010 10:33 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
The visitors will be landing shortly. Whatever you do DO NOT GO OUTSIDE!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 879648

chuckle ufo56 ahhh
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:34 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
That's the bat-signal!
Art Deco

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02/01/2010 10:35 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
maybe the red glass covering the light has been broken.

That is what my husband said. We did just have that strong winter storm come through this weekend. Not ruling that out as a possibility.

 Quoting: Watcher 878577

So, does that means you're hoping it's something more than that simple, sensible explanation?

I'm going with either new lighting, or a broken red shell, especially if there was a big storm.
In ten years we'll look back on this moment, laugh nervously, and quickly change the subject.
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:40 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
That's the bat-signal!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 867576

Actually, I thing Bat Cave is to the East of Asheville.
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:42 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
its erasing your memory
AC7654321
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02/01/2010 10:50 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Theres a tall tower to the south of Sacramento International airport that has been flashing strobe lights for at least a couple of years. More than one strobe light on the tower and they flash in patterns and different intensities. Ultra high speed communications system?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 880122

THAT'S IT. YOU HAVE CIPHERED IT OUT. A GODDAM FLASHING LIGHT IS A MUCH FASTER WAY TO COMMUNICATE THAN OVER THE NET!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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02/01/2010 10:53 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
So, does that means you're hoping it's something more than that simple, sensible explanation?

I'm going with either new lighting, or a broken red shell, especially if there was a big storm.
 Quoting: Art Deco


I am NOT hoping for more than a "simple, sensible explanation!" In fact I would welcome it! I have three small children so I would LOVE "simple and sensible"; however, what have we seen lately that even comes close to that description?!

From our vantage point, we are COVERED in chemtrails every other day here. Does that have a "simple and sensible explanation"? How about this, for 4 months, twice a week at approximately 11 PM(!), a large military plane with no lights (flying by night vision, I presume) would buzz our home so low that it would wake our children up! Does that have a "simple and sensible explanation"! Or what about strange loud booms that we heard all summer and fall long (some so loud it shook the windows on our house) and no one here could give any explanation for them. Sound "simple and sensible" to you?

So forgive me it my first gut reaction is not to the "simple and sensible". I wish it were!
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:55 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
I had a problem with this same scenerio a little while back. They had just finished a new cell tower a little over a mile from me in the country. At night, I could see this horrible bright blinking light that lit up the whole sky and was very annoying. There is thick forest and vegetation between the tower and my house so I can't see it directly. But, the blinking light lit up the surrounding sky in such a way that it made me want to climb the tower and bust the damn thing out! I had been so use to the beautiful dark country sky and this was ruining it It has since returned to the soft red light it was previously Someone told me that this bright light is and indicator that the red light is no longer working. If you contact the proper channels, they will get this fixed
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 11:02 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Theres a tall tower to the south of Sacramento International airport that has been flashing strobe lights for at least a couple of years. More than one strobe light on the tower and they flash in patterns and different intensities. Ultra high speed communications system?

THAT'S IT. YOU HAVE CIPHERED IT OUT. A GODDAM FLASHING LIGHT IS A MUCH FASTER WAY TO COMMUNICATE THAN OVER THE NET!!!!!!!!!
 Quoting: AC7654321 877750


Look it up, please. High speed 'free air' communicatios systems using pulsed white light were proposed some years ago.
whateva
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02/02/2010 12:22 AM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
generally, the cell phone tower lights are meant for Helicopters, not planes, though I could see where a plane may use them for guidance, though with GPS these days running everything, I would suspect the lights would only be for planes with no so sophisticated radars, tracking systems.

I live along interstate 20 in West Georgia and directly across from my house is about a 250 tower that blinks the white intense strobe during the day. Every evening as soon as the sun sets below the horizon the light switches to red, so it is light activated, not timed. Every once in a while in a thick fog, the red light can barely be seen from my house which is not even 300 yards away, so the white strobe will turn on, I assume this is manually done, unless there is a fog sensor or something. lol

Anyway, if I were to stand on that same tower, I could probably see more than 100 cell phone towers in the visible range, most blinking red, but I do know there are a few that keep the white strobe working day and night. I am assuming these are, at least for this area, indicating heavily populated areas and to keep helicopters and small aircraft from flying in the vicinity. They mostly keep the same route every time I see one fly over anyway and being in the landing pattern for Hartsfield airport in Atlanta, I am guessing that the lights can serve for more purposes than just a warning to low flying craft.
Anonymous Coward
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02/02/2010 12:28 AM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Military has communications systems that use different wavelengths of light to communicate, or it could be a giant deneuralizer!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 880122

Excellent rofl
RE
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05/17/2010 10:02 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Same deal up here in Virgnia (Bristol) - our local cell tower sometimes uses a small RED strobe duirng the predawn/shortly after hours, nothing I can tell about the weather or visibility as to why it would be replacing the normal steady on off red lights that are used at night in contrast to the variable intesnity white strobes for day use...whereas the intesnity is based on the visibility.

Theres one on I81 near the 81/26 cloverleaf that will blind you, i know what you mean

check this out

[link to wireless.fcc.gov] afro
Tomahawk Jones

User ID: 879157
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05/17/2010 10:12 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
We live on top of a mountain in North Carolina overlooking a valley outside Asheville. A cell tower in the center of the valley (some 20 mls from our home)has always had a red light blinking on it but tonight starting around 7 pm, the red light switched to a VERY bright strobe light that flashes every 2 seconds! (It's quite a nuisance as it is visible from every South facing room in our house!)

This strobe light is SO bright and my first thoughts are that it is some sort of emergency beacon or locator? Has anyone out there seen anything like this before? We have lived here for 4 years and the light on this tower has always been a dim red blink until tonight?

As a side note (or not), we have seen heavy military plane activity beginning this summer over this valley and over our home, especially late at night. We also experienced strange "Boom" sounds this summer that no one here could explain!
 Quoting: Watcher on the Wall 878577



Okay, here's the deal, cell-tower strobes lights have a "daytime" mode, and a "night time" mode...there are sensors that can detect day from night...strobe light is dimmed,or switched to the red strobe at night...sometimes, sensors go bad.

Last Edited by Tomahawk Jones on 05/17/2010 10:13 PM
Anonymous Coward
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05/17/2010 10:16 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Something is wrong with the beacon..it is stuck in day mode....at night, an actuator should lower a red glass tube over the lamp....changing the daytime strobe to a red beacon....it is a malfunction
Anonymous Coward
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05/17/2010 10:32 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Something is wrong with the beacon..it is stuck in day mode....at night, an actuator should lower a red glass tube over the lamp....changing the daytime strobe to a red beacon....it is a malfunction
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 973744

Its 2 different lighting systems, White for daylight and red for night time.

51. STANDARDSThe red obstruction lighting system is composed offlashing omnidirectional beacons (L-864) and/orsteady burning (L-810) lights. When one or morelevels is comprised of flashing beacon lighting, thelights should flash simultaneously.a. Single Obstruction Light. A single (L-810) lightmay be used when more than one obstruction light isrequired either vertically or horizontally or wheremaintenance can be accomplished within a reasonabletime.1. Top Level. A single light may be used toidentify low structures such as airport ILS buildingsand long horizontal structures such as perimeter fencesand building roof outlines.2. Intermediate Level. Single lights may be usedon skeletal and solid structures when more than onelevel of lights is installed and there are two or moresingle lights per level.b. Double Obstruction Light. A double (L-810)light should be installed when used as a top light, ateach end of a row of single obstruction lights, and inareas or locations where the failure of a single unitcould cause an obstruction to be totally unlighted.1. Top Level. Structures 150 feet (46m) AGL orless should have one or more double lights installed atthe highest point and operating simultaneously.2. Intermediate Level. Double lights should beinstalled at intermediate levels when a malfunction ofa single light could create an unsafe condition and inremote areas where maintenance cannot be performedwithin a reasonable time. Both units may operatesimultaneously, or a transfer relay may be used toswitch to a spare unit should the active system fail.3. Lowest Level. The lowest level of light unitsmay be installed at a higher elevation than normal on astructure if the surrounding terrain, trees, or adjacentbuilding(s) would obscure the lights. In certaininstances, as determined by an FAA aeronauticalstudy, the lowest level of lights may be eliminated.52. CONTROL DEVICERed obstruction lights should be operated by asatisfactory control device (e.g., photo cell, timer, etc.)adjusted so the lights will be turned on when thenorthern sky illuminance reaching a vertical surfacefalls below a level of 60 foot-candles (645.8 lux) butbefore reaching a level of 35 foot-candles (367.7 lux).The control device should turn the lights off when thenorthern sky illuminance rises to a level of not morethan 60 foot-candles (645.8 lux). The lights may alsoremain on continuously. The sensing device should, ifpractical, face the northern sky in the NorthernHemisphere. (See AC 150/5345-43.)53. POLES, TOWERS, AND SIMILAR SKELETALSTRUCTURESThe following standards apply to radio and televisiontowers, supporting structures for overheadtransmission lines, and similar structures.a. Top Mounted Obstruction Light.1. Structures 150 Feet (46m) AGL or Less. Twoor more steady burning (L-810) lights should beinstalled in a manner to ensure an unobstructed view ofone or more lights by a pilot.2. Structures Exceeding 150 Feet (46m) AGL.At least one red flashing (L-864) beacon should beinstalled in a manner to ensure an unobstructed view ofone or more lights by a pilot.3. Appurtenances 40 Feet (12m) or Less. If arod, antenna, or other appurtenance 40 feet (12m) orless in height is incapable of supporting a red flashingbeacon, then it may be placed at the base of theappurtenance. If the mounting location does not allowunobstructed viewing of the beacon by a pilot, thenadditional beacons should be added.4. Appurtenances Exceeding 40 Feet (12m). If arod, antenna, or other appurtenance exceeding 40 feet(12m) in height is incapable of supporting a redflashing beacon, a supporting mast with one or morebeacons should be installed adjacent to theappurtenance. Adjacent installations should notexceed the height of the appurtenance and be within 40feet (12m) of the tip to allow the pilot an unobstructedview of at least one beacon.b. Mounting Intermediate Levels. The number oflight levels is determined by the height of the structure,including all appurtenances, and is detailed inAppendix 1. The number of lights on each level isChap 513
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1Kdetermined by the shape and height of the structure.These lights should be mounted so as to ensure anunobstructed view of at least one light by a pilot.1. Steady Burning Lights (L-810).(a) Structures 350 Feet (107m) AGL or Less.Two or more steady burning (L-810) lights should beinstalled on diagonally or diametrically oppositepositions.(b) Structures Exceeding 350 Feet (107m)AGL. Install steady burning (L-810) lights on eachoutside corner of each level.2. Flashing Beacons (L-864).(a) Structures 350 Feet (107m) AGL or Less.These structures do not require flashing (L-864)beacons at intermediate levels.(b) Structure Exceeding 350 Feet (107m)AGL. At intermediate levels, two beacons (L-864)should be mounted outside at diagonally oppositepositions of intermediate levels.54. CHIMNEYS, FLARE STACKS, AND SIMILARSOLID STRUCTURESa. Number of Light Units.1. The number of units recommended depends onthe diameter of the structure at the top. The number oflights recommended below are the minimum.2. When the structure diameter is:(a) 20 Feet (6m) or Less. Three light units perlevel.(b) Exceeding 20 Feet (6m) But Not More Than100 Feet (31m). Four light units per level.(c) Exceeding 100 Feet (31m) But Not MoreThan 200 Feet (61m). Six light units per level.(d) Exceeding 200 Feet (61m). Eight light unitsper level.b. Top Mounted Obstruction Lights.1. Structures 150 Feet (46m) AGL or Less. L-810lights should be installed horizontally at regularintervals at or near the top.2. Structures Exceeding 150 Feet (46m) AGL. Atleast three L-864 beacons should be installed.3. Chimneys, Cooling Towers, and Flare Stacks.Lights may be displayed as low as 20 feet (6m) belowthe top to avoid the obscuring effect of deposits andheat generally emitted by this type of structure. It isimportant that these lights be readily accessible forcleaning and lamp replacement. It is understood thatwith flare stacks, as well as any other structuresassociated with the petrol-chemical industry, normallighting requirements may not be necessary. Thiscould be due to the location of the flare stack/structurewithin a large well-lighted petrol-chemical plant or thefact that the flare, or working lights surrounding theflare stack/structure, is as conspicuous as obstructionlights.c. Mounting Intermediate Levels. The number oflight levels is determined by the height of the structureincluding all appurtenances. For cooling towers 600feet (183m) or less, intermediate light levels are notnecessary. Structures exceeding 600 feet (183m) AGLshould have a second level of light units installedapproximately at the midpoint of the structure and in avertical line with the top level of lights.1. Steady Burning (L-810) Lights.Therecommended number of light levels may be obtainedfrom Appendix 1. At least three lights should beinstalled on each level.2. Flashing (L-864) Beacons. The recommendednumber of beacon levels may be obtained fromAppendix 1. At least three lights should be installedon each level.(a) Structures 350 Feet (107m) AGL or Less.These structures do not need intermediate levels offlashing beacons.(b) Structures Exceeding 350 Feet (107m) AGL.At least three flashing (L-864) beacons should beinstalled on each level in a manner to allow anunobstructed view of at least one beacon.55. WIND TURBINE STRUCTURESWind turbine structures should be lighted by mountingtwo flashing red beacons (L-864) on top of thegenerator housing. Both beacons should flashsimultaneously. Lighting fixtures are to be mounted ata horizontal separation to ensure an unobstructed viewof at least one fixture by a pilot approaching from anydirection.56. GROUP OF OBSTRUCTIONSWhen individual objects, except wind turbines, withina group of obstructions are not the same height and arespaced a maximum of 150 feet (46m) apart, theprominent objects within the group should be lightedin accordance with the standards for individualobstructions of a corresponding height. If the outerstructure is shorter than the prominent, the outerstructure should be lighted in accordance with thestandards for individual obstructions of a14Chap 5
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Page 22
3/1/00AC 70/7460-1Kcorresponding height. Light units should be placed toensure that the light is visible to a pilot approachingfrom any direction. In addition, at least one flashingbeacon should be installed at the top of a prominentcenter obstruction or on a special tower located nearthe center of the group.57. ALTERNATE METHOD OF DISPLAYINGOBSTRUCTION LIGHTSWhen recommended in an FAA aeronautical study,lights may be placed on poles equal to the height of theobstruction and installed on or adjacent to the structureinstead of installing lights on the obstruction.58. PROMINENT BUILDINGS, BRIDGES, ANDSIMILAR EXTENSIVE OBSTRUCTIONSWhen objects within a group of obstructions areapproximately the same overall height above thesurface and are located a maximum of 150 feet (46m)apart, the group of obstructions may be considered anextensive obstruction. Install light units on the samehorizontal plane at the highest portion or edge ofprominent obstructions. Light units should be placedto ensure that the light is visible to a pilot approachingfrom any direction. If the structure is a bridge and isover navigable water, the sponsor must obtain priorapproval of the lighting installation from theCommander of the District Office of the United StatesCoast Guard to avoid interference with marinenavigation. Steady burning lights should be displayedto indicate the extent of the obstruction as follows:a. Structures 150 Feet (46m) or Less in AnyHorizontal Direction. If the structure/bridge/extensiveobstruction is 150 feet (46m) or less horizontally, atleast one steady burning light (L-810) should bedisplayed on the highest point at each end of the majoraxis of the obstruction. If this is impractical becauseof the overall shape, display a double obstruction lightin the center of the highest point.b. Structures Exceeding 150 Feet (46m) in at LeastOne Horizontal Direction. If the structure/bridge/extensive obstruction exceeds 150 feet (46m)horizontally, display at least one steady burning lightfor each 150 feet (46m), or fraction thereof, of theoverall length of the major axis. At least one of theselights should be displayed on the highest point at eachend of the obstruction. Additional lights should bedisplayed at approximately equal intervals not toexceed 150 feet (46m) on the highest points along theedge between the end lights. If an obstruction islocated near a landing area and two or more edges arethe same height, the edge nearest the landing areashould be lighted.c. Structures Exceeding 150 Feet (46m) AGL.Steady burning red obstruction lights should beinstalled on the highest point at each end. Atintermediate levels, steady burning red lights should bedisplayed for each 150 feet (46m) or fraction thereof.The vertical position of these lights should beequidistant between the top lights and the ground levelas the shape and type of obstruction will permit. Onesuch light should be displayed at each outside corneron each level with the remaining lights evenly spacedbetween the corner lights.d. Exceptions. Flashing red beacons (L-864) maybe used instead of steady burning obstruction lights ifearly or special warning is necessary. These beaconsshould be displayed on the highest points of anextensive obstruction at intervals not exceeding 3,000feet (915m). At least three beacons should bedisplayed on one side of the extensive obstruction toindicate a line of lights.e. Ice Shields. Where icing is likely to occur, metalgrates or similar protective ice shields should beinstalled directly over each light unit to prevent fallingice or accumulations from damaging the light units.The light should be mounted in a manner to ensure anunobstructed view of at least one light by a pilotapproaching from any direction.Chap 515
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8/1/00AC 70/7460-1K CHG 1This Page Intentionally Left Blank16Chap 5
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1KCHAPTER 6. MEDIUM INTENSITY FLASHING WHITE OBSTRUCTION LIGHT SYSTEMS60. PURPOSEMedium intensity flashing white (L-865) obstructionlights may provide conspicuity both day and night.Recommendations on lighting structures can varydepending on terrain features, weather patterns,geographic location, and in the case of wind turbines,number of structures and overall layout of design.61. STANDARDSThe medium intensity flashing white light system isnormally composed of flashing omnidirectional lights.Medium intensity flashing white obstruction lightsmay be used during daytime and twilight withautomatically selected reduced intensity for nighttimeoperation. When this system is used on structures 500feet (153m) AGL or less in height, other methods ofmarking and lighting the structure may be omitted.Aviation orange and white paint is always required fordaytime marking on structures exceeding 500 feet(153m) AGL.This system is not normallyrecommended on structures 200 feet (61m) AGL orless.The use of a 24-hour medium intensity flashing whitelight system in urban/populated areas in not normallyrecommended due to their tendency to merge withbackground lighting in these areas at night. Thismakes it extremely difficult for some types of aviationoperations, i.e., med-evac, and police helicopters to seethese structures. The use of this type of system inurban and rural areas often results in complaints. Inaddition, this system is not recommended on structureswithin 3 nautical miles of an airport.62. RADIO AND TELEVISION TOWERS ANDSIMILAR SKELETAL STRUCTURESa. Mounting Lights.The number of levelsrecommended depends on the height of the structure,including antennas and similar appurtenances.1. Top Levels. One or more lights should beinstalled at the highest point to provide 360-degreecoverage ensuring an unobstructed view.2. Appurtenances 40 feet (12m) or less. If a rod,antenna, or other appurtenance 40 feet (12m) or less inheight is incapable of supporting the medium intensityflashing white light, then it may be placed at the baseof the appurtenance. If the mounting location does notallow unobstructed viewing of the medium intensityflashing white light by a pilot, then additional lightsshould be added.3. Appurtenances Exceeding 40 feet (12m). If arod, antenna, or other appurtenance exceeds 40 feet(12m) above the tip of the main structure, a mediumintensity flashing white light should be placed within40 feet (12m) from the top of the appurtenance. If theappurtenance (such as a whip antenna) is incapable ofsupporting the light, one or more lights should bemounted on a pole adjacent to the appurtenance.Adjacent installations should not exceed the height ofthe appurtenance and be within 40 feet (12m) of the tipto allow the pilot an unobstructed view of at least onelight.b. Intermediate Levels. At intermediate levels, twobeacons (L-865) should be mounted outside atdiagonally or diametrically opposite positions ofintermediate levels. The lowest light level should notbe less than 200 feet (61m) AGL.c. Lowest Levels. The lowest level of light unitsmay be installed at a higher elevation than normal on astructure if the surrounding terrain, trees, or adjacentbuilding(s) would obscure the lights. In certaininstances, as determined by an FAA aeronauticalstudy, the lowest level of lights may be eliminated.d. Structures 500 Feet (153m) AGL or Less. Whenwhite lights are used during nighttime and twilightonly, marking is required for daytime. When operated24 hours a day, other methods of marking and lightingare not required.e. Structures Exceeding 500 Feet (153m) AGL.The lights should be used during nighttime andtwilight and may be used 24 hours a day. Marking isalways required for daytime.f. Ice Shields. Where icing is likely to occur, metalgrates or similar protective ice shields should beinstalled directly over each light unit to prevent fallingice or accumulations from damaging the light units.The light should be mounted in a manner to ensure anunobstructed view of at least one light by a pilotapproaching from any direction.63. CONTROL DEVICEThe light intensity is controlled by a device thatchanges the intensity when the ambient light changes.The system should automatically change intensitysteps when the northern sky illumination in theNorthern Hemisphere on a vertical surface is asfollows:a. Twilight-to-Night. This should not occur beforethe illumination drops below five foot-candles (53.8Chap 617
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1Klux) but should occur before it drops below two foot-candles (21.5 lux).b. Night-to-Day. The intensity changes listed insubparagraph 63a above should be reversed whenchanging from the night to day mode.64. CHIMNEYS, FLARE STACKS, AND SIMILARSOLID STRUCTURESa. Number of Light Units. The number of unitsrecommended depends on the diameter of the structureat the top. Normally, the top level is on the highestpoint of a structure. However, the top level ofchimney lights may be installed as low as 20 feet (6m)below the top to minimize deposit build-up due toemissions. The number of lights recommended are theminimum. When the structure diameter is:1. 20 Feet (6m) or Less. Three light units perlevel.2. Exceeding 20 Feet (6m) But Not More Than100 Feet (31m). Four light units per level.3. Exceeding 100 Feet (31m) But Not More Than200 Feet (61m). Six light units per level.4. Exceeding 200 Feet (61m). Eight light units perlevel.65. WIND TURBINE STRUCTURESWind turbine structures should be lighted by mountingtwo flashing white beacons (L-865) on top of thegenerator housing. Both beacons should flashsimultaneously. Lighting fixtures are to be mounted ata horizontal separation to ensure an unobstructed viewof at least one fixture by a pilot approaching from anydirection. Intermediate light levels and other markingmay be omitted on these structures.66. GROUP OF OBSTRUCTIONSWhen individual objects within a group of obstructionsare not the same height and are spaced a maximum of150 feet (46m) apart, the prominent objects within thegroup should be lighted in accordance with thestandards for individual obstructions of acorresponding height. If the outer structure is shorterthan the prominent, the outer structure should belighted in accordance with the standards for individualobstructions of a corresponding height. Light unitsshould be placed to ensure that the light is visible to apilot approaching from any direction. In addition, atleast one medium intensity flashing white light shouldbe installed at the top of a prominent center obstructionor on a special tower located near the center of thegroup.67. SPECIAL CASESWhere lighting systems are installed on structureslocated near highways, waterways, airport approachareas, etc., caution should be exercised to ensure thatthe lights do not distract or otherwise cause a hazard tomotorists, vessel operators, or pilots on an approach toan airport. In these cases, shielding may be necessary.This shielding should not derogate the intendedpurpose of the lighting system.68. PROMINENT BUILDINGS AND SIMILAREXTENSIVE OBSTRUCTIONSWhen objects within a group of obstructions areapproximately the same overall height above thesurface and are located a maximum of 150 feet (46m)apart, the group of obstructions may be considered anextensive obstruction. Install light units on the samehorizontal plane at the highest portion or edge ofprominent obstructions. Light units should be placedto ensure that the light is visible to a pilot approachingfrom any direction. Lights should be displayed toindicate the extent of the obstruction as follows:a. Structures 150 Feet (46m) or Less in AnyHorizontal Direction.If the structure/extensiveobstruction is 150 feet (46m) or less horizontally, atleast one light should be displayed on the highest pointat each end of the major axis of the obstruction. If thisis impractical because of the overall shape, display adouble obstruction light in the center of the highestpoint.b. Structures Exceeding 150 Feet (46m) in at LeastOne Horizontal Direction. If the structure/extensiveobstruction exceeds 150 feet (46m) horizontally,display at least one light for each 150 feet (46m) orfraction thereof, of the overall length of the major axis.At least one of these lights should be displayed on thehighest point at each end of the obstruction.Additional lights should be displayed at approximatelyequal intervals not to exceed 150 feet (46m) on thehighest points along the edge between the end lights.If an obstruction is located near a landing area and twoor more edges are the same height, the edge nearest thelanding area should be lighted.18Chap 6
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1Kc. Structures Exceeding 150 Feet (46m) AGL.Lights should be installed on the highest point at eachend. At intermediate levels, lights should be displayedfor each 150 feet (46m), or fraction thereof. Thevertical position of these lights should be equidistantbetween the top lights and the groundlevel as the shape and type of obstruction will permit.One such light should be displayed at each outsidecorner on each level with the remaining lights evenlyspaced between the corner lights.Chap 619
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1KCHAPTER 7. HIGH INTENSITY FLASHING WHITE OBSTRUCTION LIGHT SYSTEMS70. PURPOSELighting with high intensity (L-856) flashing whiteobstruction lights provides the highest degree ofconspicuity both day and night. Recommendations onlighting structures can vary depending on terrainfeatures, weather patterns, geographic location, and inthe case of wind turbines, number of structures andoverall layout of design.71. STANDARDSUse high intensity flashing white obstruction lightsduring daytime with automatically selected reducedintensities for twilight and nighttime operations.When high intensity white lights are operated 24 hoursa day, other methods of marking and lighting may beomitted. This system should not be recommended onstructures 500 feet (153m) AGL or less unless an FAAaeronautical study shows otherwise.72. CONTROL DEVICELight intensity is controlled by a device that changesthe intensity when the ambient light changes. The useof a 24-hour high intensity flashing white light systemin urban/populated areas is not normally recommendeddue to their tendency to merge with backgroundlighting in these areas at night. This makes itextremely difficult for some types of aviationoperations, i.e., med-evac, and police helicopters to seethese structures. The use of this type of system inurban and rural areas often results in complaints.The system should automatically change intensitysteps when the northern sky illumination in theNorthern Hemisphere on a vertical surface is asfollows:a. Day-to-Twilight. This should not occur beforethe illumination drops to 60 foot-candles (645.8 lux),but should occur before it drops below 35 foot-candles(376.7 lux). The illuminance-sensing device should, ifpractical, face the northern sky in the NorthernHemisphere.b. Twilight-to-Night. This should not occur beforethe illumination drops below five foot-candles (53.8lux), but should occur before it drops below two foot-candles (21.5 lux).c. Night-to-Day. The intensity changes listed insubparagraph 72 a and b above should be reversedwhen changing from the night to day mode.73. UNITS PER LEVELOne or more light units is needed to obtain the desiredhorizontal coverage. The number of light unitsrecommended per level (except for the supportingstructures of catenary wires and buildings) dependsupon the average outside diameter of the specificstructure, and the horizontal beam width of the lightfixture. The light units should be installed in a mannerto ensure an unobstructed view of the system by a pilotapproaching from any direction. The number of lightsrecommended are the minimum. When the structurediameter is:a. 20 Feet (6m) or Less. Three light units per level.b. Exceeding 20 Feet (6m) But Not More Than 100Feet (31m). Four light units per level.c. Exceeding 100 Feet (31m). Six light units perlevel.74. INSTALLATION GUIDANCEManufacturing specifications provide for the effectivepeak intensity of the light beam to be adjustable fromzero to 8 degrees above the horizon. Normalinstallation should place the top light at zero degrees tothe horizontal and all other light units installed inaccordance with Table 2:Light Unit Elevation Above the HorizontalHeight of Light UnitDegrees of ElevationAbove TerrainAbove the HorizontalExceeding 500 feet AGL0401 feet to 500 feet AGL1301 feet to 400 feet AGL2300 feet AGL or less3TBL 2a. Vertical Aiming.Where terrain, nearbyresidential areas, or other situations dictate, the lightbeam may be further elevated above the horizontal.The main beam of light at the lowest level should notstrike the ground closer than 3 statute miles (5km)from the structure. If additional adjustments arenecessary, the lights may be individually adjustedupward, in 1-degree increments, starting at the bottom.Excessive elevation may reduce its conspicuity byraising the beam above a collision course flight path.b. Special Cases.Where lighting systems areinstalled on structures located near highways,waterways, airport approach areas, etc., caution shouldbe exercised to ensure that the lights do not distract orotherwise cause a hazard to motorists, vessel operators,Chap 721
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1Kor pilots on an approach to an airport. In these cases,shielding or an adjustment to the vertical or horizontallight aiming may be necessary. This adjustmentshould not derogate the intended purpose of thelighting system. Such adjustments may require reviewaction as described in Chapter 1, paragraph 5.c. Relocation or Omission of Light Units. Lightunits should not be installed in such a manner that thelight pattern/output is disrupted by the structure.1. Lowest Level. The lowest level of light unitsmay be installed at a higher elevation than normal on astructure if the surrounding terrain, trees, or adjacentbuilding(s) would obscure the lights. In certaininstances, as determined by an FAA aeronauticalstudy, the lowest level of lights may be eliminated.2. Two Adjacent Structures.Where twostructures are situated within 500 feet (153m) of eachother and the light units are installed at the samelevels, the sides of the structures facing each otherneed not be lighted. However, all lights on bothstructures must flash simultaneously, except foradjacent catenary support structures. Adjust verticalplacement of the lights to either or both structures’intermediate levels to place the lights on the samehorizontal plane. Where one structure is higher thanthe other, complete level(s) of lights should beinstalled on that part of the higher structure thatextends above the top of the lower structure. If thestructures are of such heights that the levels of lightscannot be placed in identical horizontal planes, thenthe light units should be placed such that the center ofthe horizontal beam patterns do not face toward theadjacent structure. For example, structures situatednorth and south of each other should have the lightunits on both structures installed on anorthwest/southeastandnortheast/southwestorientation.3. Three or More Adjacent Structures. Thetreatment of a cluster of structures as an individual or acomplex of structures will be determined by the FAAas the result of an aeronautical study, taking intoconsideration the location, heights, and spacing withother structures.75. ANTENNA OR SIMILAR APPURTENANCELIGHTWhen a structure lighted by a high intensity flashinglight system is topped with an antenna or similarappurtenance exceeding 40 feet (12m) in height, amedium intensity flashing white light (L-865) shouldbe placed within 40 feet (12m) from the tip of theappurtenance. This light should operate 24 hours aday and flash simultaneously with the rest of thelighting system.76. CHIMNEYS, FLARE STACKS, AND SIMILARSOLID STRUCTURESThe number of light levels depends on the height ofthe structure excluding appurtenances. Three or morelights should be installed on each level in such amanner to ensure an unobstructed view by the pilot.Normally, the top level is on the highest point of astructure. However, the top level of chimney lightsmay be installed as low as 20 feet (6m) below the topto minimize deposit build-up due to emissions.77. RADIO AND TELEVISION TOWERS ANDSIMILAR SKELETAL STRUCTURESa. Mounting Lights.The number of levelsrecommended depends on the height of the structure,excluding antennas and similar appurtenances. Atleast three lights should be installed on each level andmounted to ensure that the effective intensity of thefull horizontal beam coverage is not impaired by thestructural members.b. Top Level. One level of lights should be installedat the highest point of the structure. If the highestpoint is a rod or antenna incapable of supporting alighting system, then the top level of lights should beinstalled at the highest portion of the main skeletalstructure. When guy wires come together at the top, itmay be necessary to install this level of lights as low as10 feet (3m) below the top. If the rod or antennaexceeds 40 feet (12m) above the main structure, amedium intensity flashing white light (L-865) shouldbe mounted on the highest point. If the appurtenance(such as a whip antenna) is incapable of supporting amedium intensity light, one or more lights should beinstalled on a pole adjacent to the appurtenance.Adjacent installation should not exceed the height ofthe appurtenance and be within 40 feet (12m) of thetop to allow an unobstructed view of at least one light.c. Ice Shields. Where icing is likely to occur, metalgrates or similar protective ice shields should beinstalled directly over each light unit to prevent fallingice or accumulations from damaging the light units.78. HYPERBOLIC COOLING TOWERSLight units should be installed in a manner to ensurean unobstructed view of at least two lights by a pilotapproaching from any direction.a. Number of Light Units. The number of unitsrecommended depends on the diameter of the structure22Chap 7
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1Kat the top. The number of lights recommended in thefollowing table are the minimum. When the structurediameter is:1. 20 Feet (6m) or Less. Three light units perlevel.2. Exceeding 20 Feet (6m) But Not More Than100 Feet (31m). Four light units per level.3. Exceeding 100 Feet (31m) But Not More Than200 Feet (61m). Six light units per level.4. Exceeding 200 Feet (61m). Eight light units perlevel.b. Structures Exceeding 600 Feet (183m) AGL.Structures exceeding 600 feet (183m) AGL shouldhave a second level of light units installedapproximately at the midpoint of the structure and in avertical line with the top level of lights.79. PROMINENT BUILDINGS AND SIMILAREXTENSIVE OBSTRUCTIONSWhen objects within a group of obstructions areapproximately the same overall height above thesurface and are located not more than 150 feet (46m)apart, the group of obstructions may be considered anextensive obstruction. Install light units on the samehorizontal plane at the highest portion or edge ofprominent obstructions. Light units should be placedto ensure that the light is visible to a pilot approachingfrom any direction. These lights may requireshielding, such as louvers, to ensure minimum adverseimpact on local communities. Extreme caution in theuse of high intensity flashing white lights should beexercised.a. If the Obstruction is 200 feet (61m) or Less inEither Horizontal Dimension, install three or morelight units at the highest portion of the structure in amanner to ensure that at least one light is visible to apilot approaching from any direction. Units may bemounted on a single pedestal at or near the center ofthe obstruction. If light units are placed more than 10feet (3m) from the center point of the structure, use aminimum of four units.b. If the Obstruction Exceeds 200 Feet (61m) inOne Horizontal Dimension, but is 200 feet (61m) orless in the other, two light units should be placed oneach of the shorter sides. These light units may eitherbe installed adjacent to each other at the midpoint ofthe edge of the obstruction or at (near) each cornerwith the light unit aimed to provide 180 degrees ofcoverage at each edge. One or more light units shouldbe installed along the overall length of the major axis.These lights should be installed at approximately equalintervals not to exceed a distance of 100 feet (31m)from the corners or from each other.c. If the Obstruction Exceeds 200 Feet (61m) inBoth Horizontal Dimensions, light units should beequally spaced along the overall perimeter of theobstruction at intervals of 100 feet (31m) or fractionthereof.Chap 723
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1KCHAPTER 8. DUAL LIGHTING WITH RED/MEDIUM INTENSITY FLASHING WHITE SYSTEMS80. PURPOSEThis dual lighting system includes red lights (L-864)for nighttime and medium intensity flashing whitelights (L-865) for daytime and twilight use. Thislighting system may be used in lieu of operating amedium intensity flashing white lighting system atnight. There may be some populated areas where theuse of medium intensity at night may cause significantenvironmental concerns. The use of the dual lightingsystem should reduce/mitigate those concerns.Recommendations on lighting structures can varydepending on terrain features, weather patterns,geographic location, and in the case of wind turbines,number of structures and overall layout of design.81. INSTALLATIONThe light units should be installed as specified in theappropriate portions of Chapters 4, 5, and 6. Thenumber of light levels needed may be obtained fromAppendix 1.82. OPERATIONLighting systems should be operated as specified inChapter 3. Both systems should not be operated at thesame time; however, there should be no more than a 2-second delay when changing from one system to theother. Outage of one of two lamps in the uppermostred beacon (L-864 incandescent unit) or outage of anyuppermost red light shall cause the white obstructionlight system to operate in its specified ”night” stepintensity.83. CONTROL DEVICEThe light system is controlled by a device that changesthe system when the ambient light changes. Thesystem should automatically change steps whenthe northern sky illumination in the NorthernHemisphere on a vertical surface is as follows:a. Twilight-to-Night. This should not occur beforethe illumination drops below 5 foot-candles (53.8 lux)but should occur before it drops below 2 foot-candles(21.5 lux).b. Night-to-Day. The intensity changes listed insubparagraph 83 a above should be reversed whenchanging from the night to day mode.84. ANTENNA OR SIMILAR APPURTENANCELIGHTWhen a structure utilizing this dual lighting system istopped with an antenna or similar appurtenanceexceeding 40 feet (12m) in height, a medium intensityflashing white (L-865) and a red flashing beacon (L-864) should be placed within 40 feet (12m) from thetip of the appurtenance. The white light shouldoperate during daytime and twilight and the red lightduring nighttime. These lights should flashsimultaneously with the rest of the lighting system.85. WIND TURBINE STRUCTURESWind turbine structures should be lighted by mountingtwo flashing dual beacons (L-864/L-865) on top of thegenerator housing. Both beacons should flashsimultaneously. Lighting fixtures are to be mounted ata horizontal separation to ensure an unobstructed viewof at least one fixture by a pilot approaching from anydirection. Intermediate light levels and other markingmay be omitted on these structures.86. OMISSION OF MARKINGWhen medium intensity white lights are operated onstructures 500 feet (153m) AGL or less during daytimeand twilight, other methods of marking may beomitted.Chap 825
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1KCHAPTER 9. DUAL LIGHTING WITH RED/HIGH INTENSITY FLASHING WHITE SYSTEMS90. PURPOSEThis dual lighting system includes red lights (L-864)for nighttime and high intensity flashing white lights(L-856) for daytime and twilight use. This lightingsystem may be used in lieu of operating a flashingwhite lighting system at night. There may be somepopulated areas where the use of high intensity lightsat night may cause significant environmental concernsand complaints. The use of the dual lighting systemshouldreduce/mitigatethoseconcerns.Recommendations on lighting structures can varydepending on terrain features, weather patterns,geographic location, and in the case of wind turbines,number of structures and overall layout of design.91. INSTALLATIONThe light units should be installed as specified in theappropriate portions of Chapters 4, 5, and 7. Thenumber of light levels needed may be obtained fromAppendix 1.92. OPERATIONLighting systems should be operated as specified inChapters 4, 5, and 7. Both systems should not beoperated at the same time; however, there should be nomore than a 2-second delay when changing from onesystem to the other. Outage of one of two lamps in theuppermost red beacon (L-864 incandescent unit) oroutage of any uppermost red light shall cause the whiteobstruction light system to operate in its specified”night” step intensity.93. CONTROL DEVICEThe light intensity is controlled by a device thatchanges the intensity when the ambient light changes.The system should automatically change intensitysteps when the northern sky illumination in theNorthern Hemisphere on a vertical surface is asfollows:a. Day-to-Twilight. This should not occur before theillumination drops to 60 foot-candles (645.8 lux) butshould occur before it drops below 35 foot-candles(376.7 lux). The illuminance-sensing device should, ifpractical, face the northern sky in the NorthernHemisphere.b. Twilight-to-Night. This should not occur beforethe illumination drops below 5 foot-candles (53.8 lux)but should occur before it drops below 2 foot-candles(21.5 lux).c. Night-to-Day. The intensity changes listed insubparagraph 93 a and b above should be reversedwhen changing from the night to day mode.94. ANTENNA OR SIMILAR APPURTENANCELIGHTWhen a structure utilizing this dual lighting system istopped with an antenna or similar appurtenanceexceeding 40 feet (12m) in height, a medium intensityflashing white light (L-865) and a red flashing beacon(L-864) should be placed within 40 feet (12m) fromthe tip of the appurtenance. The white light shouldoperate during daytime and twilight and the red lightduring nighttime.95. OMISSION OF MARKINGWhen high intensity white lights are operated duringdaytime and twilight, other methods of marking maybe omitted.Chap 927
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1KCHAPTER 10. MARKING AND LIGHTING OF CATENARY AND CATENARY SUPPORT STRUCTURES100. PURPOSEThis chapter provides guidelines for marking andlighting catenary and catenary support structures. Therecommended marking and lighting of these structuresis intended to provide day and night conspicuity and toassist pilots in identifying and avoiding catenary wiresand associated support structures.101. CATENARY MARKING STANDARDSLighted markers are available for increased nightconspicuity of high-voltage (69KV or greater)transmission line catenary wires. These markersshould be used on transmission line catenary wiresnear airports, heliports, across rivers, canyons, lakes,etc. The lighted markers should be manufacturercertified as recognizable from a minimum distance of4,000 feet (1219m) under nighttime conditions,minimum VFR conditions or having a minimumintensity of at least 32.5 candela. The lighting unitshould emit a steady burning red light. They should beused on the highest energized line. If the lightedmarkers are installed on a line other than the highestcatenary, then markers specified in paragraph 34should be used in addition to the lighted markers. (Themaximum distance between the line energizing thelighted markers and the highest catenary above thelighted marker should be no more than 20 feet (6m).)Markers should be distinctively shaped, i.e., spherical,cylindrical, so they are not mistaken for items that areused to convey other information. They should bevisible in all directions from which aircraft are likelyto approach. The area in the immediate vicinity of thesupporting structure’s base should be clear of all itemsand/or objects of natural growth that could interferewith the line-of-sight between a pilot and thestructure’s lights. Where a catenary wire crossingrequires three or more supporting structures, the innerstructures should be equipped with enough light unitsper level to provide a full coverage.a. Size and Color. The diameter of the markers usedon extensive catenary wires across canyons, lakes,rivers, etc., should be not less than 36 inches (91cm).Smaller 20-inch (51cm) markers are permitted on lessextensive power lines or on power lines below 50 feet(15m) above the ground and within 1,500 feet (458m)of an airport runway end. Each marker should be asolid color such as aviation orange, white, or yellow.b. Installation.1. Spacing. Lighted markers should be spacedequally along the wire at intervals of approximately200 feet (61m) or a fraction thereof. Intervals betweenmarkers should be less in critical areas near runwayends, i.e., 30 to 50 feet (10m to 15m). If the markersare installed on a line other than the highest catenary,then markers specified in paragraph 34 should be usedin addition to the lighted markers. The maximumdistance between the line energizing the lightedmarkers and the highest catenary above the markerscan be no more than 20 feet (6m). The lighted markersmay be installed alternately along each wire if thedistance between adjacent markers meets the spacingstandard. This method allows the weight and windloading factors to be distributed.2. Pattern. An alternating color scheme providesthe most conspicuity against all backgrounds. Markoverhead wires by alternating solid colored markers ofaviation orange, white, and yellow. Normally, anorange marker is placed at each end of a line and thespacing is adjusted (not to exceed 200 feet (61m)) toaccommodate the rest of the markers. When less thanfour markers are used, they should all be aviationorange.102. CATENARY LIGHTING STANDARDSWhen using medium intensity flashing white (L-866),high intensity flashing white (L-857), dual mediumintensity (L-866/L-885) or dual high intensity (L-857/885) lighting systems, operated 24 hours a day,other marking of the support structure is not necessary.a. Levels. A system of three levels of sequentiallyflashing light units should be installed on eachsupporting structure or adjacent terrain. Install onelevel at the top of the structure, one at the height of thelowest point in the catenary and one levelapproximately midway between the other two lightlevels. The middle level should normally be at least 50feet (15m) from the other two levels. The middle lightunit may be deleted when the distance between the topand the bottom light levels is less than 100 feet (30m).1. Top Levels. One or more lights should beinstalled at the top of the structure to provide 360-degree coverage ensuring an unobstructed view. If theinstallation presents a potential danger to maintenancepersonnel, or when necessary for lightning protection,the top level of lights may be mounted as low as 20feet (6m) below the highest point of the structure.2. Horizontal Coverage. The light units at themiddle level and bottom level should be installed so asto provide a minimum of 180-degree coveragecentered perpendicular to the flyway. Where aChap 1029
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1Kcatenary crossing is situated near a bend in a river,canyon, etc., or is not perpendicular to the flyway, thehorizontal beam should be directed to provide the mosteffective light coverage to warn pilots approachingfrom either direction of the catenary wires.3. Variation.The vertical and horizontalarrangements of the lights may be subject to thestructural limits of the towers and/or adjacent terrain.A tolerance of 20 percent from uniform spacing of thebottom and middle light is allowed. If the base of thesupporting structure(s) is higher than the lowest pointin the catenary, such as a canyon crossing, one or morelights should be installed on the adjacent terrain at thelevel of the lowest point in the span. These lightsshould be installed on the structure or terrain at theheight of the lowest point in the catenary.b. Flash Sequence. The flash sequence should bemiddle, top, and bottom with all lights on the samelevel flashing simultaneously. The time delay betweenflashes of levels is designed to present a unique systemdisplay. The time delay between the start of each levelof flash duration is outlined in FAA AC 150/5345-43,Specification for Obstruction Lighting Equipment.c. Synchronization.Although desirable, thecorresponding light levels on associated supportingtowers of a catenary crossing need not flashsimultaneously.d. Structures 500 feet (153m) AGL or Less. Whenmedium intensity white lights (L-866) are operated 24hours a day, or when a dual red/medium intensitysystem (L-866 daytime & twilight/L-885 nighttime) isused, marking can be omitted. When using a mediumintensity while light (L-866) or a flashing red light (L-885) during twilight or nighttime only, painting shouldbe used for daytime marking.e. Structures Exceeding 500 Feet (153m) AGL.When high intensity white lights (L-857) are operated24 hours a day, or when a dual red/high intensitysystem (L-857 daytime and twilight/L-885 nighttime)is used, marking can be omitted. This system shouldnot be recommended on structures 500 feet (153m) orless unless an FAA aeronautical study showsotherwise. When a flashing red obstruction light (L-885), a medium intensity (L-866) flashing whitelighting system or a high intensity white lightingsystem (L-857) is used for nighttime and twilight only,painting should be used for daytime marking.103. CONTROL DEVICEThe light intensity is controlled by a device (photocell)that changes the intensity when the ambient lightchanges. The lighting system should automaticallychange intensity steps when the northern skyillumination in the Northern Hemisphere on a verticalsurface is as follows:a. Day-to-Twilight (L-857 System). This should notoccur before the illumination drops to 60 foot-candles(645.8 lux), but should occur before it drops below 35foot-candles (376.7 lux). The illuminant-sensingdevice should, if practical, face the northern sky in theNorthern Hemisphere.b. Twilight-to-Night (L-857 System). This shouldnot occur before the illumination drops below 5 foot-candles (53.8 lux), but should occur before it dropsbelow 2 foot-candles (21.5 lux).c. Night-to-Day. The intensity changes listed insubparagraph 103 a. and b. above should be reversedwhen changing from the night to day mode.d. Day-to-Night (L-866 or L-885/L-866). Thisshould not occur before the illumination drops below 5foot-candles (563.8 lux) but should occur before itdrops below 2 foot-candles (21.5 lux).e. Night-to-Day. The intensity changes listed insubparagraph d. above should be reversed whenchanging from the night to day mode.f. Red Obstruction (L-885). The red lights shouldnot turn on until the illumination drops below 60 foot-candles (645.8 lux) but should occur before reaching alevel of 35 foot-candles (367.7 lux). Lights should notturn off before the illuminance rises above 35 foot-candles (367.7 lux), but should occur before reaching60 foot-candles (645.8 lux).104. AREA SURROUNDING CATENARY SUPPORTSTRUCTURESThe area in the immediate vicinity of the supportingstructure’s base should be clear of all items and/orobjects of natural growth that could interfere with theline-of-sight between a pilot and the structure’s lights.105. THREE OR MORE CATENARY SUPPORTSTRUCTURESWhere a catenary wire crossing requires three or moresupporting structures, the inner structures should beequipped with enough light units per level to provide afull 360-degree coverage.30Chap 10
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1KCHAPTER 11. MARKING AND LIGHTING MOORED BALLOONS AND KITES110. PURPOSEThe purpose of marking and lighting moored balloons,kites, and their cables or mooring lines is to indicatethe presence and general definition of these objects topilots when converging from any normal angle ofapproach.111. STANDARDSThese marking and lighting standards pertain to allmoored balloons and kites that require marking andlighting under 14 CFR, part 101.112. MARKINGFlag markers should be used on mooring lines to warnpilots of their presence during daylight hours.a. Display. Markers should be displayed at no morethan 50-foot (15m) intervals and should be visible forat least 1 statute mile.b. Shape. Markers should be rectangular in shapeand not less than 2 feet (0.6m) on a side. Stiffenersshould be used in the borders so as to expose a largearea, prevent drooping in calm wind, or wrappingaround the cable.c. Color Patterns. One of the following colorpatterns should be used:1. Solid Color. Aviation orange.2. Orange and White. Two triangular sections,one of aviation orange and the other white, combinedto form a rectangle.113. PURPOSEFlashing obstruction lights should be used on mooredballoons or kites and their mooring lines to warn pilotsof their presence during the hours between sunset andsunrise and during periods of reduced visibility. Theselights may be operated 24 hours a day.a. Systems. Flashing red (L-864) or white beacons(L-865) may be used to light moored balloons or kites.High intensity lights (L-856) are not recommended.b. Display. Flashing lights should be displayed onthe top, nose section, tail section, and on the tethercable approximately 15 feet (4.6m) below the craft soas to define the extremes of size and shape. Additionallights should be equally spaced along the cable’soverall length for each 350 feet (107m) or fractionthereof.c. Exceptions. When the requirements of thisparagraph cannot be met, floodlighting may be used.114. OPERATIONAL CHARACTERISTICSThe light intensity is controlled by a device thatchanges the intensity when the ambient light changes.The system should automatically turn the lights on andchange intensities as ambient light condition change.The reverse order should apply in changing fromnighttime to daytime operation. The lights shouldflash simultaneously.Chap 1131
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8/1/00AC 70/7460-1K CHG 1This Page Intentionally Left Blank32Chap 11
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1KCHAPTER 12. MARKING AND LIGHTING EQUIPMENT AND INFORMATION120. PURPOSEThis chapter lists documents relating to obstructionmarking and lighting systems and where they may beobtained.121. PAINT STANDARDPaint and aviation colors/gloss, referred to in thispublication should conform to Federal StandardFED-STD-595. Approved colors shall be formulatedwithout the use of Lead, Zinc Chromate or otherheavy metals to match International Orange, Whiteand Yellow. All coatings shall be manufactured andlabeled to meet Federal Environmental ProtectionAct Volatile Organic Compound(s) guidelines,including the National Volatile Organic CompoundEmission Standards for architectural coatings.a. Exterior Acrylic Waterborne Paint. Coatingshould be a ready mixed, 100% acrylic, exterior latexformulated for application directly to galvanizedsurfaces. Ferrous iron and steel or non-galvanizedsurfaces shall be primed with a manufacturerrecommended primer compatible with the finish coat.b. Exterior Solventborne Alkyd Based Paint.Coating should be ready mixed, alkyd-based, exteriorenamel for application directly to non-galvanizedsurfaces such as ferrous iron and steel. Galvanizedsurfaces shall be primed with a manufacturer primercompatible with the finish coat.Paint Standards Color TableCOLORNUMBEROrange12197White17875Yellow13538TBL 3Note-1. Federal specification T1-P-59, aviation surface paint, ready mixedinternational orange.2. Federal specification T1-102, aviation surface paint, oil titanium zinc.3. Federal specification T1-102, aviation surface paint, oil, exterior,ready mixed, white and light tints.122. AVAILABILITY OF SPECIFICATIONSFederal specifications describing the technicalcharacteristics of various paints and their applicationtechniques may be obtained from:GSA- Specification Branch470 L’Enfant PlazaSuite 8214Washington, DC 20407Telephone: (202) 619-8925123. LIGHTS AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENTThe lighting equipment referred to in this publicationshould conform to the latest edition of one of thefollowing specifications, as applicable:a. Obstruction Lighting Equipment.1. AC 150/5345-43, FAA Specification forObstruction Lighting Equipment.2. Military Specifications MIL-L-6273, Light,Navigational, Beacon, Obstacle or Code, Type G-1.3. Military Specifications MIL-L-7830, LightAssembly, Markers, Aircraft Obstruction.Chap 1233
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1Kb. Certified Equipment.1. AC 150/5345-53, Airport LightingCertification Program, lists the manufacturers thathave demonstrated compliance with the specificationrequirements of AC 150/5345-43.2. Other manufacturers’ equipment may be usedprovided that equipment meets the specificationrequirements of AC 150/5345-43.c. Airport Lighting Installation and Maintenance.1. AC 150/5340-21, Airport MiscellaneousLighting Visual Aids, provides guidance for theinstallation, maintenance, testing, and inspection ofobstruction lighting for airport visual aids such asairport beacons, wind cones, etc.2. AC 150/5340-26, Maintenance of AirportVisual Aid Facilities, provides guidance on themaintenance of airport visual aid facilities.d. Vehicles.1. AC 150/5210-5, Painting, Marking, andLighting of Vehicles Used on an Airport, containsprovisions for marking vehicles principally used onairports.2. FAA Facilities. Obstruction marking for FAAfacilities shall conform to FAA Drawing Number D-5480, referenced in FAA Standard FAA-STD-003,Paint Systems for Structures.124. AVAILABILITYThe standards and specifications listed above may beobtained free of charge from the below-indicatedoffice:a. Military Specifications:Standardization Document Order Desk700 Robbins AvenueBuilding #4, Section DPhiladelphia, PA 19111-5094b. FAA Specifications:Manager, ASD-110Department of TransportationDocument Control CenterMartin Marietta/Air Traffic Systems475 School St., SW.Washington, DC 20024Telephone: (202) 646-2047FAA Contractors Onlyc. FAA Advisory Circulars:Department of TransportationTASCSubsequent Distribution Office, SVC-121.23Ardmore East Business Center3341 Q 75th AvenueLandover, MD 20785Telephone: (301) 322-496134Chap 12
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8/1/00AC 70/7460-1K CHG 1APPENDIX 1: Specifications for Obstruction Lighting Equipment ClassificationAPPENDIXTypeDescriptionL-810Steady-burning Red Obstruction LightL-856High Intensity Flashing White Obstruction Light (40 FPM)L-857High Intensity Flashing White Obstruction Light (60 FPM)L-864Flashing Red Obstruction Light (20-40 FPM)L-865Medium Intensity Flashing White Obstruction Light (40-FPM)L-866Medium Intensity Flashing White Obstruction Light (60-FPM)L-864/L-865Dual: Flashing Red Obstruction Light (20-40 FPM) and Medium IntensityFlashing White Obstruction Light (40 FPM)L-885Red Catenary 60 FPMFPM = Flashes Per MinuteTBL 4Appendix 1A1-1
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AC 70/7460-1K CHG 18/1/00PAINTING AND/OR DUAL LIGHTING OF CHIMNEYS, POLES, TOWERS, AND SIMILAR STRUCTURESFIG 1A1-2Appendix 1
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8/1/00AC 70/7460-1K CHG 1 FIG 2LIGHTING FOR TOP OF STRUCTURESAppendix 1A1-3
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AC 70/7460-1K CHG 18/1/00FIG 3 A1-4Appendix 1
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8/1/00AC 70/7460-1K CHG 1FIG 4 Appendix 1A1-5
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AC 70/7460-1K CHG 18/1/00FIG 5 A1-6Appendix 1
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8/1/00AC 70/7460-1K CHG 1LIGHTING ADJACENT STRUCTURESFIG 6 Appendix 1A1-7
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AC 70/7460-1K CHG 18/1/00Lighting Adjacent Structure= L-856= L-856500'(153m)or lessAll levelsmay beomitted750' AGL(229m)600'(183m)250' AGL(77m)Lowest level should be aboveadjacent structureStructures of equal height. Number of levelsdepends upon height of structure.Lights on both structures to be synchronized.= L-856= L-856500'500'(153m)or less(153m)or lessTop level -Display all units755'(230m)Lower levels maybe omitted506'(154m)800 '(244m)760' AGL(232m)245'(75m)500'(168m)253'(78m)250' AGL(77m)One structure higher than the adjacent structureand light levels are on same horizontal plane.Lights on both structures to be synchronized.One structure higher than the adjacent structureand light levels are on same horizontal plane.FIG 7A1-8Appendix 1
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8/1/00AC 70/7460-1K CHG 1FIG 8 Appendix 1A1-9
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AC 70/7460-1K CHG 18/1/00FIG 9 A1-10Appendix 1
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8/1/00AC 70/7460-1K CHG 1BRIDGE LIGHTINGFIG 10 Appendix 1A1-11
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AC 70/7460-1K CHG 18/1/00FIG 11 A1-12Appendix 1
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8/1/00AC 70/7460-1K CHG 1 FIG 12Appendix 1A1-13
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RED OBSTRUCTIONLIGHTING STANDARDS(FAA Style A)Appendix 1A1-14FIG 13AC 70/7460-1K CHG 18/1/00
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MEDIUM INTENSITY WHITEOBSTRUCTION LIGHTINGSTANDARDS (FAA Style D)//00AC 70 7460-1K CHG 18/1FIG 14Appendix 1A1-15
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HIGH INTENSITYOBSTRUCTION LIGHTINGSTANDARDS (FAA Style B)Appendix 1A1-16FIG 15AC 70/7460-1K CHG 18/1/00
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HIGH INTENSITYOBSTRUCTION LIGHTINGSTANDARDS (FAA Style C)Appendix 1A1-17FIG 16AC 70/7460-1K CHG 18/1/00
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MEDIUM INTENSITY DUALOBSTRUCTION LIGHTINGSTANDARDS (FAA Style E)Appendix 1A1-18FIG 17AC 70/7460-1K CHG 18/1/00
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DUAL HIGH INTENSITYOBSTRUCTION LIGHTINGSTANDARDS (FAA Style F)Appendix 1A1-19FIG 18AC 70/7460-1K CHG 18/1/00
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3/1/00AC 70/7460-1KAPPENDIX 2. Miscellaneous1. RATIONALE FOR OBSTRUCTION LIGHTgoverning the operation of aircraft, including INTENSITIES.helicopters, within the United States. Sections 91.117, 91.119 and 91.155 of the FAR Part2. DISTANCE VERSUS INTENSITIES. 91, General Operating and Flight Rules, prescribeTBL 5 depicts the distance the various intensities can aircraft speed restrictions, minimum safe altitudes, andbe seen under 1 and 3 statute miles meteorologicalbasic visual flight rules (VFR) weather minimums forvisibilities:Distance/Intensity TableTime PeriodMeteorological VisibilityStatute MilesDistance Statute MilesIntensity CandelasNight2.9 (4.7km)1,500 (+/- 25%)3 (4.8km)3.1 (4.9km)2,000 (+/- 25%)1.4 (2.2km)32Day1.5 (2.4km)200,0001 (1.6km)1.4 (2.2km)100,0001.0 (1.6km)20,000 (+/- 25%)Day3.0 (4.8km)200,0003 (4.8km)2.7 (4.3km)100,0001.8 (2.9km)20,000 (+/- 25%)Twilight1 (1.6km)1.0 (1.6km)to 1.5 (2.4km)20,000 (+/- 25%)?Twilight3 (4.8km)1.8 (2.9km)to 4.2 (6.7km)20,000 (+/- 25%)?Note-1. DISTANCE CALCULATED FOR NORTH SKY ILLUMINANCE.3. CONCLUSION.Pilots of aircraft travelling at 165 knots (190mph/306kph) or less should be able to see obstructionlights in sufficient time to avoid the structure by atleast 2,000 feet (610m) horizontally under allconditions of operation, provided the pilot is operatingin accordance with FAR Part 91. Pilots operatingbetween 165 knots (190 mph/303 km/h) and 250 knots(288 mph/463 kph) should be able to see theobstruction lights unless the weather deteriorates to 3statute miles (4.8 kilometers) visibility at night, duringwhich time period 2,000 candelas would be required tosee the lights at 1.2 statute miles (1.9km). A higherintensity, with 3 statute miles (4.8 kilometers)visibility at night, could generate a residentialannoyance factor. In addition, aircraft in these speedranges can normally be expected to operate underinstrument flight rules (IFR) at night when thevisibility is 1 statute mile (1.6 kilometers).TBL 54. DEFINITIONS.a. Flight Visibility. The average forward horizontaldistance, from the cockpit of an aircraft in flight, atwhich prominent unlighted objects may be seen andidentified by day and prominent lighted objects may beseen and identified by night.Reference-AIRMAN’S INFORMATION MANUALPILOT/CONTROLLER GLOSSARY.b. Meteorological Visibility. A term that denotes thegreatest distance, expressed in statute miles, thatselected objects (visibility markers) or lights ofmoderate intensity (25 candelas) can be seen andidentified under specified conditions of observation.Appendix 2A2-1
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AC 70/7460-1K3/1/005. LIGHTING SYSTEM CONFIGURATION.a. Configuration A. Red lighting system.b. Configuration B. High Intensity WhiteObstruction Lights (including appurtenance lighting).c. Configuration C. Dual Lighting System - HighIntensity White & Red (including appurtenancelighting).d. Configuration D. Medium Intensity White Lights(including appurtenance lighting).e. Configuration E. Dual Lighting Systems -Medium Intensity White & Red (includingappurtenance lighting).Example-‘‘CONFIGURATION B 3’’ DENOTES A HIGH INTENSITY LIGHTINGSYSTEM WITH THREE LEVELS OF LIGHT.A2-2Appendix 2
Tomahawk Jones

User ID: 879157
United States
05/17/2010 10:36 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Something is wrong with the beacon..it is stuck in day mode....at night, an actuator should lower a red glass tube over the lamp....changing the daytime strobe to a red beacon....it is a malfunction
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 973744



Damn, that's some old times Flash Technology shit there buddy.

Last Edited by Tomahawk Jones on 05/17/2010 10:39 PM
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 973224
United States
05/17/2010 11:54 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
We live on top of a mountain in North Carolina overlooking a valley outside Asheville. A cell tower in the center of the valley (some 20 mls from our home)
 Quoting: Watcher on the Wall 878577


You are not the first to be annoyed by high intensity strobes on these towers. At this point you can poke around to learn who the owners are, and perhaps examine filings to see if something mandated a change. I have read accounts where owners were successfully petitioned to change their lighting based on the nuisance. If it keeps up, find like-minded people in your area, get an attorney if necessary, and write the company.

Towers exceeding a minimum height or close to airports have to be registered with the FCC. You can type in some geographic data to try to determine the owner. This is a link to a database containing publicly available information.

[link to wireless2.fcc.gov]

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