How do pilots see around the airport at night?

Is Airport Lighting the same around the world? How did Devil Dragon land?

 A motivated reader named “Bob” asked if the airport lighting was the same around the world, especially in Asia. Yes, Bob!

Many of the airports around the world have some type of lighting for aircraft night flying. The differences at these airports are the type of lighting, depending on the amount of aircraft they have, and how busy they are. The lighting is always the same world-wide so that pilots can recognize the universal light colors, sequences, and locations, to help them land, taxi and take-off safely.

 

Some examples of lighting at airports

Airport Beacon: Airport beacons aid a pilot identify an airfield at night. The airport beacon is usually operated from dusk until dawn. As an example, some of the most common beacons found at airfields are:

Flashing white and green for civilian land airports

  • Flashing white and yellow for a water airport
  • Flashing white, yellow, and green for a heliport
  • Two quick white flashes alternating with a green flash identifying a military airport

beacon

Approach Light Systems: The approach light systems are used for pilots to transition from instrument flight (looking inside the cockpit) to visual flight for landing (outside the cockpit).

 

approach-lights

 

Visual Glideslope Indicators: Visual glideslope indicators give the pilot glidepath information so that he or she can land safely. This aid can be used in the day or night.   By using these lights, the pilot will clear an obstacles near the end of the runway, and also land in a specific location on the end of the runway.

 

glideslope

 

Next time you are flying, take a look outside at all the airport lighting. I bet you’ll see it differently.

 

Read “The Devil Dragon Pilot” today!

 

nvg

Portion of Book Proceeds to Two Awesome Veterans Organizations

Dear Friends,

By reading one of my books, you are helping America’s veterans.  A portion of the Ford Stevens Military-Aviation Thriller Series proceeds are going to two different veteran organizations (see below for more information).  These excellent organizations support our men and women long after they return home.

Thank you for your continued support!  Awesome!

 

Sincerely,

Lawrence A. Colby

 

Headstrong Project

Marine Corps Veteran, actor Caleb Wells, Founder of Headstrong Project Zach Iscol, actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Adam Driver at Headstrong Project Words Of War Gala on October 17, 2016. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Marine Corps Veteran, actor Caleb Wells, Founder of Headstrong Project Zach Iscol, actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Adam Driver at Headstrong Project Words Of War Gala on October 17, 2016.
(Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

The Headstrong Project

http://getheadstrong.org/

The Headstrong Project, a non-profit partnered with Weill Cornell Medical Center to fund and develop comprehensive mental healthcare programs to treat Iraq and Afghanistan veterans free of cost, stigma, and bureaucracy.

 

 

Team Rubicon Global

tr-global

Team Rubicon Global

http://www.teamrubiconglobal.org

Team Rubicon Global provides veterans around the world with opportunities to serve others in the wake of disasters. Learn how you can support our efforts to build a global veteran community that provides assistance to disaster victims.

Military book author discusses forces of flight: How does Devil Dragon fly?

The military-aviation book “The Devil Dragon Pilot” focuses on a secret aircraft that can fly at unbelievable speeds with special engines. While not disclosing too much in this positing and ruining it for readers, I thought you might want to understand some of the basic components of an aircraft and some simple aerodynamic concepts.

There are four forces on an aircraft that is flying in level, unaccelerated flight. The forces are thrust, lift, weight, and drag. If one of them exceeds the other, the aircraft is out of balance. Which is ok, because that’s how an aircraft, balloon, glider, missile, or rocket flies through the air.

The forward thrust is generated by the engines, and in Devil Dragon’s case, there are more than one. This force overcomes the force of drag. Drag is a force that acts rearward, like a parachute, and is generated by a disruption of airflow by the wing, along with other things sticking out of an aircraft. The force drag is opposite of thrust.

The third force is weight, which is the total amount of the aircraft, along with fuel, weapons and aircrew. If you ever fly on a commercial carrier, you would include luggage, meal carts, and carry-on bags, too. The weight of the aircraft pulls it down because of….wait for it….wait…the force of gravity! The force of gravity is opposite of lift and pushes down through the center of gravity, known to pilots as the “CG”.

Most airplanes have the same major components to the airframe, too, and Devil Dragon is no different: wings, landing gear, fuselage, and an engine(s). You already inherently know these parts: fuselage is the main body of an airplane and is where you and the aircrew sit, along with your luggage; wings are the airfoils that are bolted to the sides of the fuselage that support the aircraft in flight; landing gear support the aircraft on the ground for take-off, landing, taxiing, and parking. You already know engines!

And that’s how Devil Dragon flies.  Read it today.

Question for readers: where is the fuel stored on an aircraft?

 

Gulfstream displaying wings, fuselage, and powerplant
Gulfstream jet displaying landing gear, wings, fuselage, and powerplant

 

 

Military Aviation Novel “The Devil Dragon Pilot” Focuses on Decision-Making

In a recent conversation with a reader who was getting ready to finish “The Devil Dragon Pilot”, I was asked about decision-making in the cockpit. She asked me about how pilots know what to do and when, during a flight. My answer? It depends. As she read in the book, it also depended for both Ford Stevens and Wu Lee, too.

Ford Stevens, the main character in “The Devil Dragon”, follows the aeronautical decision-making process, known formally as ADM. It is decision-making in a very matchless environment, except for perhaps medicine and spaceflight. It is an organized and efficient set of steps of practice used by pilots to consistently control the best course of action. A pilot’s decision will be based upon the situation on the ground or in the air, and the information a pilot has at the time.

Consider all the items a pilot must think about: altitude, fuel, navigation, air traffic, radio calls, birds, weather, passengers and cargo, enemy fire, system malfunctions…the list goes on. While some is very systematic and checklist oriented and dictated by FAA policy and aviation law, other situations require solid judgment.

What is great about this mysterious ADM is that you can learn it. Time has demonstrated in the industry that you can learn to improve your decision-making through experience and critical thinking. The ADM process takes pilots through the decision-making in the cockpit and layouts out the steps to success:

These steps are known to pilots for good decision-making:

  1. Identifying your personal attitudes hazardous to safe flight
  2. Learning behavior modification techniques
  3. Learning how to recognize and cope with stress
  4. Developing risk assessment skills
  5. Using all resources available
  6. Evaluating the effectiveness of one’s ADM skills.

As you read “The Devil Dragon Pilot”, I think you will see the pilots going through these steps verbally.  In many scenes, I have written them into the characters as they are thinking and talking to themselves. If you look closely in the book, ADM is alive and well.

Get the book today on Amazon.com!

 

 

Make a good decision in this office.

  Make a good decision in this office.

Author Lawrence A. Colby Interviewed on “Ready For Take-Off Podcast”

I had the honor and privilege of talking about aviation on the Ready For Takeoff Podcast with Captain George Nolly recently.  We discussed everything from military flight training to the C-130 to the upcoming release of The Devil Dragon Pilot.

George Nolly launched his aviation career at 17 while still in high school. An appointment to the Air Force Academy prepared him for his two tours in Vietnam, flying O-2s over the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos and F-4 Phantoms over Hanoi. After his service, George went into commercial aviation, flying for United Airlines as Captain and Flight Instructor for 26 years. After finishing his Doctorate in Homeland Security, George went on to conduct airline safety audits for the for International Air Transport Association on carriers throughout the globe. George continues to instruct on the Boeing 777.

Thanks, George, for allowing me to speak with you about The Devil Dragon Pilot book.  Readers, please check out George Nolly’s Ready For Takeoff podcast on iTunes now to hear this latest interview.

Thank you, George!

 

Read For Take-Off Podcast
Ready For Take-Off Podcast

 

iTunes