do i have to have strobe lights when flying at night in my cessna 172?

November 25, 2008

so i am going to be doing some night flying this friday…something i have not done in about 6 months. i know one of the cessna 172’s i rented had strobes and we used them. but the plane i have rented for this friday does not have strobes (it too is a cessna 172). do i have to have them on for flying at night?

I’m sure there are more appropriate resources for the answer to this question. I’d start with your FAR/AIM.


12 Responses to “do i have to have strobe lights when flying at night in my cessna 172?”

  1. barrbou214 on November 25th, 2008 6:27 pm

    yes.and you should know this.
    References :

  2. duckredbeard on November 25th, 2008 7:10 pm

    I’m sure there are more appropriate resources for the answer to this question. I’d start with your FAR/AIM.
    References :
    I fix these things.

  3. dukesrebelyell on November 25th, 2008 7:55 pm

    i think you should give up flying and tell your flight instructor that you want your money back, because if you cant figure this one out on your own you have no business in the air. the first answer was the best, open your FAR/AIM for once, and review the required VFR night equipment, maybe, i dont know thats just a guess, probably a long shot though……hope this helps Mr. Pilot man, make sure all the girls know you fly…… the way, no you do not need strobes, 91.205(b)
    References :

  4. JAMES B on November 25th, 2008 8:01 pm

    Does your car have head lights?
    Well a plane needs to be seen in the sky at night.
    Keep studying.
    References :

  5. cherokeeflyer on November 25th, 2008 8:50 pm

    Hey dukesrebelyell, 91.205 (b) is for vfr DAY requirements

    The answer is no, not necessarily as long as you comply with 91.205(c) and 91.209
    91.205(c) says you must have For VFR flight at night, the following instruments and equipment are required:
    (1) Instruments and equipment specified in paragraph (b) of this section.
    (2) Approved position lights.
    (3) An approved aviation red or aviation white anticollision light system on all U.S.-registered civil aircraft. Anticollision light systems initially installed after August 11, 1971, on aircraft for which a type certificate was issued or applied for before August 11, 1971, must at least meet the
    anticollision light standards of part 23, 25, 27, or 29 of this chapter, as applicable, that were in effect on August 10, 1971, except that the color may be either aviation red or aviation white.
    Subpart C–Equipment, Instrument, and Certificate Requirements

    Sec. 91.209

    Aircraft lights.

    No person may:
    (a) During the period from sunset to sunrise (or, in Alaska, during the period a prominent unlighted object cannot be seen from a distance of 3 statute miles or the sun is more than 6 degrees below the horizon)–
    (1) Operate an aircraft unless it has lighted position lights;
    (2) Park or move an aircraft in, or in dangerous proximity to, a night flight operations area of an airport unless the aircraft–
    (i) Is clearly illuminated;
    (ii) Has lighted position lights; or
    (iii) is in an area that is marked by obstruction lights;
    (3) Anchor an aircraft unless the aircraft–
    (i) Has lighted anchor lights; or
    (ii) Is in an area where anchor lights are not required on vessels; or
    (b) Operate an aircraft that is equipped with an anticollision light system, unless it has lighted anticollision lights. However, the anticollision lights need not be lighted when the pilot-in-command determines that, because of operating conditions, it would be in the interest of safety to turn the lights off.
    References :

  6. MIPilot on November 25th, 2008 9:06 pm

    The answer above me is most likely the most detailed and you should know where to find this in the FAR/AIM.

    But I am pretty sure you only need the three position lights on the wingtips and tail. As well as at least one anti collision light. This can be either strobe lights or a flashing or rotating beacon. Most of the 172’s I have been around have the regular nav lights as well as a flashing beacon on the top of the tail.
    References :

  7. siupilotman on November 25th, 2008 9:30 pm

    No strobe lights, just anti-collision lights and position lights as stated in 91.205. Rotating beacons and strobe lights can both classify as anti-collision lights. So as long as you have one or the other, you are good to go.
    References :

  8. Eenymeenyminymoe on November 25th, 2008 9:41 pm

    its a regulation that you fly with all lights on at night. but if the aircraft doesnt have strobe lights, im sure you wont get in too much trouble, but thats still violating the rules. theres still the other lights left to make sure others see you in the sky.
    References :

  9. PARAMOUNT TRANSPORTATION SVC on November 25th, 2008 10:22 pm

    NO you do not….you do need anti-collision (red tail beacon) and position (left wing red / right wing green / tail white.

    You can always check in the current FAR/AIM and don’t forget that MEL on the aircraft.

    Stay out of the trees!
    References :

  10. Bob on December 12th, 2008 3:18 pm

    It’s funny… half the responders chastise the OP for not knowing the answer to the question or where to find it.

    Then, the posters all give different responses. I guess the answer must not be so clear cut.

  11. joepilot on December 29th, 2008 6:37 pm

    you dont need damn strobe lights! all you need is the beacon.

  12. Fred on January 1st, 2009 11:59 pm

    One should know the facts before responding.

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