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[TowerTalk] Tower lighting

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Tower lighting
From: (Dennis Schaefer)
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 16:31:03 -0500
>Bottom line, if your tower installation requires lighting, you are 
>legally required to use the FAA approved lighting fixtures. If it doesn't 
>require lighting, and you want to light it anyway, you are legally 
>required to use FAA approved lighting fixtures.
>Bill Coleman, AA4LR, PP-ASEL        Mail:

This brings up an interesting question.  Someone suggested the small lights
in QST awhile back and the QST columnist stated the same thing, that even
if you aren't required to use lights, any lights you use must meet FAA

I won't argue with this. (I work for the federal government).  However, it
must be a matter of not what you do, but what you call it.  Our area is
full of "night watcher" lights, which consist of a mercury vapor light on a
30 foot pole.  These are owned by the power utility.  Individuals also put
their own lights on various poles.  The Wal-Mart parking lot has numerous
light fixtures on  70 foot poles.  Our high school football field is less
than a mile from the airport and has 6 or 8 100+ foot lighting towers with
huge lights they turn on and off whenever they darn well please.   I have
heard the legend about the mobile home park somewhere that is several miles
from a small airport, and has such evenly spaced lights down the street
that novice pilots occasionally line up on it for landing!  

It is probably not unheard of for security lighting to be installed on a
tower ( probably not at the top, though).

Is it true that if the wrong person hears you say  "this light is for the
benefit of low-flying aircraft" that it must meet FCC specifications but if
you state "this light is for security, etc." then you are exempt?  That
would be pretty ridiculous.   Or - do Wal-Mart's parking lot lights have to
meet some kind of FAA standard?   

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