The Landing Light – 172 at Denver International

On September 23rd, 2003 I rented a plane with friends in Colorado Springs (COS) to fly to Denver (DEN). It was a calm, warm, clear, evening and made for a great night to fly. It was the typical $100 hamburger flight (in to a major International).

The pre-flight was fast and we fired up the engine, but moments later the taxi/landing light blew. Getting a new bulb was out of the question, so we called up AOPA‘s member services – closed for the night – and proceeded to whip out the laptop and look up FARs. A landing light was required for commercial flight, but not private VFR-night flight (pilots, remember your TOMATO FLAMES+FLAPS).

Why am I re-telling this story more than five years later? The Beast, of course! A $4,160 flashlight. Yes, four thousand one hundred and sixty dollars (thanks @AgentM for the link).

At only a foot and a half long, no lamp filaments to break, and a weatherproof body made of rugged anodized aerospace-grade aluminum, the Beast Rechargeable makes a perfect backup landing light.

During taxi and landing we used a Lightwave mounted firmly in the co-pilot’s hand, arm extended out the passenger window. This wasn’t necessary since we had ample runway lights, but it made us feel safer prior to the runway and was bright enough to illuminate the threshold before the numbers.

One thought on “The Landing Light – 172 at Denver International

  1. I'm not sure about this, just throwing something on the table here;
    The airplane was rented, hence operated for “compensation or hire”?
    Or is it the purpose of the flight they relate to? Never really gotten this answer straight from anyone…

    An example for the last option would be; a flight-school that in addition to doing flight lessons, rents out airplanes for rental flights.
    If you are going up with your instructor, you will need your landing lights, because the instructor is flying for compensation. Right?
    What if you two also are friends and want to rent the airplane and go for a short flight? Would this require the landing light? This takes me back to the first questions…

    I would imagine that the purpose of the flight is what counts.

    Then, what if your friend (which is also an instructor) decide to make the rental flight a flight-lesson, but he won't charge you anything? On the contrary, he will pay you 50% of the expenses for the flight…

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