Light Signals RV7 RV-7 RV7A RV-7A Experimental Aircraft

ATC Light signals

Air traffic control light signals are used to control traffic with which radio contact cannot be made. To help myself remember the various signals used by ATC, I've developed this test/study guide. If you would like to give it a try you may do so by clicking the Start Test button.

Have Fun!

As you know, two-way radio communication is required before you can enter class D airspace. If you think your radio has failed, you can still land at a tower controlled airport by following the lost-communication procedure. Anytime you believe that your radio is inop, set your transponder to 7600. This will alert ATC of your plight. 

Remain outside class D airspace until you can determine the direction and flow of the traffic. Then, if you believe that only your receiver is inop, advise the tower of your aircraft type, position, altitude and your intention to land. then join the pattern and stay in visual contact with the tower. Obviously if both transmitter and receiver are inop, you won't be able to tell the tower of your intent. In that case, just stay outside class D airspace until you can determine the direction and flow of traffic, the join the pattern and maintain visual contact with the tower.

Upon receiving light signals, you should acknowledge then by either rocking your wings if in the air during the day, moving your elevators if on the ground during the day, or if it's night, flashing your landing light or navigation lights. 


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Last updated: November 18, 2003.