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I was flying home last night with the Mrs. landed at night and according to her it was “your worst landing ever.”   I told her not so ! I’ve had much worse landings and she begged to disagree. 
 

Anyway eyes out front to the end of the Rwy like usual, I literally lost the runway end lights and all visual cues, didn’t have a great peripheral visual cue and landed a real clunker more by Braille than by any form of superior piloting skills.   
 

What I realized ex post facto is my 8-degree LED landing / tractor light is not very bright and I’ve got a single par46 bulb without any cast laterally (ie it doesn’t help at all with peripheral visual cues).  It’s hard to taxi let alone land with the thing (... although I’ve made plenty of landings when my incandescent landing light used to burn out on a schedule (planned night landing = bulb burning out according to Murphy)). 
 

Wife says use your basic tools first and the landing light is a safety feature, so get a new light please.  
 

Anyone got a recommendation for a bright LED that has a maybe 10-12 degree cast that won’t burn a hole in my wallet? 

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Bummer about the landing, I use the lights along the edges of the runway to help me discern distance from the ground and it's always treated me well.

I had a Whelen PAR46 flood (instead of spot) on my C and it worked to help me taxi. If your battery is weak, the light will be too at low RPM.

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If you land hard enough...  you can modify the gear doors.

 

Lets see what @OSUAV8TER recommends for an optimum Whelen landing light...

If you only have one light...  compare to LBs that have gone with at least four...  somebody thought it important enough to make the change...

 

During the landing.... How long did the stall warning sound for?  My worst landing came with an extended complaint from the stall warning system...  when listening to the replay, you can hear it say something about adding throttle and going around... :)...

PP thoughts only, not a CFI...

Best regards,

-a-

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Anthony that’s pretty funny. Rest of the story is I had the stall warning going off for a little longer than usual, attitude a little higher than usual and a was a couple of feet high in retrospect, losing energy.  Higher attitude made it a  little harder to see over the nose to the end of the runway and there is a bit of a hump in the middle of it.  I added in a bunch of power prior to doing my bounce (which was the right move).   I ended up glancing to the side for the runway edge lights because I wasn’t seeing well over the nose or getting anything peripheral vision wise.  Just not ideal overall.    

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Yeah you won’t have peripheral vision past the edge lights at night.  You might not realize it during the day, but peripheral vision plays a lot into your sense of height during landing.  Seeing the runway will definitely help, so more wide beam for sure, but don’t expect perfection at night.  It’s more about repeatability and getting the airplane down close to the runway in the correct attitude.  You’re probably not going to grease them all.

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One other thing I’ve found about edge lighting at night - perspective of course changes with the runway width.  But something else that I didn’t really encounter  until those LED runway lights came into fashion - they’re on posts of varying heights - in Norwood (OWD) I remember you’d land at night and the light posts were like a foot or 18” taller  - so you’d get this feeling of sinking underwater as you went almost eye level with the edge lights 

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I use a cheapo Aero-Lites Fusion 46LR (PAR46).  It has diffusers on 4 of the LED's to give you some side scatter for taxiing, and bright enough otherwise.  I'm sure there are better, but at $160 not much more cost effective.

 My habit is to chant "flare early" to myself on final, because I seem to misperceive distances consistently.  

 

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2 hours ago, jaylw314 said:

I use a cheapo Aero-Lites Fusion 46LR (PAR46).  It has diffusers on 4 of the LED's to give you some side scatter for taxiing, and bright enough otherwise.  I'm sure there are better, but at $160 not much more cost effective.

 My habit is to chant "flare early" to myself on final, because I seem to misperceive distances consistently.  

 

I really like this light.  It has a grating over four of the 18 LEDs that does actually cast some light to the sides.  Much safer for taxi ops than the incandescent for sure.   Not sure if it will solve your problem, but it is good and bright.   I spotted two deer on the runway on short final by their shadows.

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6 hours ago, carusoam said:

If you land hard enough...  you can modify the gear doors.

I dropped a Cardinal in one night like the tailhook crowd.   It was a rental in a place and time far-far-away.   I never got a call back so I guess I didn't damage anything too badly.   Luckily, I was alone after a long day.

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Landing lights can actually be a distraction at night. I used to teach night landings without using the landing lights. First, they light up the runway too close to your touchdown point and your eyes naturally go there which causes you to lose height perception. Second, you need to be comfortable landing at night without a landing light in case it fails (not infrequent for those airplanes with cowling-mounted incandescent bulbs).

Mooney's are difficult to full stall without a thud unless you get everything just perfect. At night with fewer visual cues, it's extra hard. Try using a soft field technique. I find it much easier to get pleasing night landings that way. Also, on short final look to the far end of the runway, but don't fixate on it. Keep your focus moving from side to side to take in more of the surrounding area, maybe +/- 15 deg left and right of the center line. It's a trick I learned flying seaplanes where there are fewer cues on the water. Doing this seems to give the brain more data to process the changing geometry of the runway lights and better judge height.

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2 minutes ago, PT20J said:

Landing lights can actually be a distraction at night. I used to teach night landings without using the landing lights. First, they light up the runway too close to your touchdown point and your eyes naturally go there which causes you to lose height perception. Second, you need to be comfortable landing at night without a landing light in case it fails (not infrequent for those airplanes with cowling-mounted incandescent bulbs).

Mooney's are difficult to full stall without a thud unless you get everything just perfect. At night with fewer visual cues, it's extra hard. Try using a soft field technique. I find it much easier to get pleasing night landings that way. Also, on short final look to the far end of the runway, but don't fixate on it. Keep your focus moving from side to side to take in more of the surrounding area, maybe +/- 15 deg left and right of the center line. It's a trick I learned flying seaplanes where there are fewer cues on the water. Doing this seems to give the brain more data to process the changing geometry of the runway lights and better judge height.

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Boy, reading this makes me even happier with the "normal" landing I made last night. I never realized it's so difficult! New moon, pitch dark, GPS 36 at KALX. Removed the foggles at DA to see nothing but runway lights in a huge black hole. My glasses were put away, so I popped on my prescription sunglasses for a clear view of the now dim runway lights. Made the midfield turnoff without much braking thanks to the uphill slope. :) 

I find night landings are easier (just like flying a good approach) when it's not the first one I've done in however-many months. The CFII in the right seat commented on it,  and blew me off when I said my wife would have scolded me for the centerline being near or just left of the left wheel. I'm now sharper on approaches than I was before, though. Getting rid of rust, whatever the variety, takes effort and outside assistance, and is worthwhile. 

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Make the one time investment in LHS...landing height system...it’s like have a co-pilot doing call outs....when it gets down to 2 ft...you need to be in the sweet spot...when it gets to 1 ft slowly flare ...makes for better landings especially at night time

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The reason for using different heights on the runway and taxiway lights are because of snow. You won’t see high runway light posts used in the south.

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9 hours ago, PT20J said:

Landing lights can actually be a distraction at night. I used to teach night landings without using the landing lights. First, they light up the runway too close to your touchdown point and your eyes naturally go there which causes you to lose height perception

Skip

That’s how I was taught and rarely use the landing light until on the ground and taxing

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13 hours ago, jaylw314 said:

I use a cheapo Aero-Lites Fusion 46LR (PAR46).  It has diffusers on 4 of the LED's to give you some side scatter for taxiing, and bright enough otherwise.  I'm sure there are better, but at $160 not much more cost effective.

 My habit is to chant "flare early" to myself on final, because I seem to misperceive distances consistently.  

 

This light directly improved my night landings!   Also I say a similar chant. 

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A few years ago I wound up doing my first landing at my home drone at night.  It was really awful, I was unprepared (my iPhone has a flashlight, how bad can it be?), couldn't find the damn airport (look for the black hole) and forgot how dark the cockpit is.  My landing really sucked hard.  Went back out not that long ago with a headlight and lots of flashlights.  Still couldn't find the home airport (wrong black hole!) but did far better.

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When I had My 67 F, it had a bad habit of blowing the landing light when I touched down and then I had to taxi in with no light. I started turning off the landing light before I touched down. The light never burned out after that. I did it so much that I prefer to land that way. I always turn off the landing light on final. The tower freaks out some times. I now find the landing light very distracting.

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18 hours ago, bradp said:

I was flying home last night with the Mrs. landed at night and according to her it was “your worst landing ever.”   I told her not so ! I’ve had much worse landings and she begged to disagree. 
 

Anyway eyes out front to the end of the Rwy like usual, I literally lost the runway end lights and all visual cues, didn’t have a great peripheral visual cue and landed a real clunker more by Braille than by any form of superior piloting skills.   
 

What I realized ex post facto is my 8-degree LED landing / tractor light is not very bright and I’ve got a single par46 bulb without any cast laterally (ie it doesn’t help at all with peripheral visual cues).  It’s hard to taxi let alone land with the thing (... although I’ve made plenty of landings when my incandescent landing light used to burn out on a schedule (planned night landing = bulb burning out according to Murphy)). 
 

Wife says use your basic tools first and the landing light is a safety feature, so get a new light please.  
 

Anyone got a recommendation for a bright LED that has a maybe 10-12 degree cast that won’t burn a hole in my wallet? 

There are a lot of places to save money and I’m all for that, but if you land at airports that aren’t well lit and have only one landing light I would go for the best (AeroLED sunspot). You pay for it once but what’s an extra few hundred dollars in aviation?

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Here are photos of a PAR-36 WAT Parmetheus Pro versus an Aerolite. These were taken with the exact same camera settings with a little post editing to correct the color balance because the Pro has a more blue-ish color to it versus the Aerolite so it through the white balance off a little bit. A PAR-46 Parmetheus Plus is $300 and a PAR-46 Parmetheus Pro is $599.99. I have the Pro in both wings of my Bonanza and it is a phenomenal light.

Edit_WATPro.thumb.jpg.e517b60848a00b0403f5a7cfcb24dff8.jpg

Edit_Aerolite.jpg

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On 4/7/2021 at 8:27 PM, 201Steve said:

Just go with a glassy water landing :rolleyes:

This.   I usually feel for the runway on most days.  So night is the same.   The vertical descent on all landing should be slow.   But then there was the time landing to the north and I forgot that there is a bit of upslope going that way.   Bam.

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On 4/9/2021 at 6:53 AM, OSUAV8TER said:

Here are photos of a PAR-36 WAT Parmetheus Pro versus an Aerolite. These were taken with the exact same camera settings with a little post editing to correct the color balance because the Pro has a more blue-ish color to it versus the Aerolite so it through the white balance off a little bit. A PAR-46 Parmetheus Plus is $300 and a PAR-46 Parmetheus Pro is $599.99. I have the Pro in both wings of my Bonanza and it is a phenomenal light.

Edit_WATPro.thumb.jpg.e517b60848a00b0403f5a7cfcb24dff8.jpg

Edit_Aerolite.jpg

@OSUAV8TER James those are pretty pictures. Are you doing any virtual or in person show discounts for SnF this week? 
 

 

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