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Roger Lee

My exterior light is out

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Recently, my exterior position lights and also my A/C beacon light started working intermittently. After my mechanic checked all wiring, it was found that the main breaker switch for the position lights was causing the problem with these. As for the beacon, the wire connectors were the problem and these needed to be pulled apart and cleaned. The "bullet" connectors seem to develop corrosion or get dirty and stop conducting current. Also, the multi-pin connectors for the lights, which are located in the fuselage storage area, beneath the parachute, are also sometimes the culprit and need to be pulled apart and cleaned. The rocker switch doesn't get excercised much, if at all, and it needed cleaning. I still note that the beacon has a few burned out LEDs so this is slowly going and will need to be replaced. Also, this is not to say that one might have a position light completely fail. Our position lights are supposed to go many thousands of hours but they seem to not be doing so. My friend's 2008 CTLS had to have a left position light replaced. There was not a problem with switches or connectors and light itself was NFG. We should be getting better life out of our very expensive LED lights.

 

 

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Hi Guys, Doing more night flying now, since it's dark at 1845. I noticed today that my green postion light was not working. It comes on just for a second then goes dead. If I cycle the rocker switch it will come on just for a second then nothing. The left wing light and tail lights all work fine so I don't belive it's the breaker. Do you think the light has just gone out? I checked the connections at the wing tip/light and all looks good. When I wiggle them around still nothing comes on. I'm flying down to the AOPA convention in Long Beach in 10 days so I need to get this fixed asap but don't want to just order a light if not needed. Any ideas?

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Each light has it's own circuitry in each light. My guess is yours is giving up and dying and close to dead. There is nothing, but 12V between the light and the switch. Go to the above post with the link and you will need to get another. They are sold in pairs. (red/green)

 

These light are polarity sensitive so look at the wires when you take the old one off and attach the new one with the same polarity.

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I posted here regarding the connectors and the breaker switch. I had the same problem as you describe but with my left position light being intermittent and the right was OK. I removed the light from the wing. This takes patience and a very flat knife. I used the blade from a utility knife and a pair of pliers to cut under the light to cut thru the silicone sealant that was used to seal the light. Once removed, you should see bullet connectors inside the wing. Pull these apart and check the crimps on the connectors. My crimps were bad on the bullet connectors and I had an open circuit. Once you get the light free of the wing and the wire connectors undone, you can supply 12v to the light -watching polarity - to see if it is OK. As Roger points out, this is not to say the light is not the problem. My friend has a 2008 CTLS and the wire trouble shooting showed that it was a bad light and he had to replace his left position light. There are also connections for the wing lights inside the baggage area, under the floor beneath the parachute. There is a mulit pin ground connector and a multi power connector. Also bullet connectors to the lights up inside the headers. Your logic is good regarding the breaker not being involved but I did have a dirty breaker that was causing intermittent operation of my red beacon light.

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This is pure conjecture but since I make things like this:

 

Clearly from the pdf, there is a microcontroller in each of these lights for strobing as well as a step-down switching regulator to handle input voltage fluctuations. (LEDs are very particular about drive voltage and really want to be current driven). The manufacturer also says he uses an overvoltage protection scheme that toggles the light off above 18V. If the light goes out only with the engine opeating, then possibly generator noise is tripping the overvoltage. That could be filtered. More likely the Microcontroller sense circuit is faulty and is triggering that voltage shutoff in error since the LEDs still work even if only for a moment. Since this seems to be a trend, perhaps we could see about getting some discounted warranty replacements. Probably having FD appeal to this OEM would be the most effective approach.

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I am new to the CTLS world and this forum is great! My position lights work fine, but do not strobe. Should they? Is it required for day VFR?

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I am new to the CTLS world and this forum is great! My position lights work fine, but do not strobe. Should they? Is it required for day VFR?

 

For daytime vfr, you don't need ANY lights.

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For daytime vfr, you don't need ANY lights.

 

That is not correct here in the states. This is from 91.209

 

No person may:

(B) Operate an aircraft that is equipped with an anticollision light system, unless it has lighted anticollision lights. However, the anticollision lights need not be lighted when the pilot-in-command determines that, because of operating conditions, it would be in the interest of safety to turn the lights off.

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That is not correct here in the states. This is from 91.209

 

No person may:

(B) Operate an aircraft that is equipped with an anticollision light system, unless it has lighted anticollision lights. However, the anticollision lights need not be lighted when the pilot-in-command determines that, because of operating conditions, it would be in the interest of safety to turn the lights off.

 

I rest my case. Translated into real terms the use of anti collision lights is up to the pilot.

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I rest my case. Translated into real terms the use of anti collision lights is up to the pilot.

 

In 700 hours flying the CT I have yet to find a time I needed the anti collision light turned off for safety.

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In 700 hours flying the CT I have yet to find a time I needed the anti collision light turned off for safety.

 

But the flip side is also true which I think was the point; The FAA would have to assert, in any hypothetical enforcement action, that a pilot felt he needed an ACL but wasn't using it which is a virtually impossible legal argument to make. As is often the case, it is a confusingly worded reg, but the upshot is that the ACL is optional for day-VFR

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In 700 hours flying the CT I have yet to find a time I needed the anti collision light turned off for safety.

 

 

Tom, that is not the point and I am with you on that.

 

The point is that if your pos lights don't work, you are perfectly legal to fly daytime vfr.

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Tom, that is not the point and I am with you on that.

 

The point is that if your pos lights don't work, you are perfectly legal to fly daytime vfr.

 

I agree that nav lights are not required, and I mis-read the post as his strobe was not working. You did say that you don't need ANY lights, and I think the reg I posted says otherwise. I know the reg kind of gives an out, but I think you would be hard pressed to say that having the ACL on is a hazzard in VFR conditions. The only time it has bothered me is at night, and you have to have it on then for sure.

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My red tail beacon stopped working. 12v. to the light but it's dead. I was informed that FD USA no longer stocks beacon lights for the CTSW and recommends aftermarket purchase. Roger posted this link to buy new lights previously in this thread

http://www.ntin.net/jhardy/EPL/EPLLightPage.html

 

Would anyone know if the "ACL III" beacon this importer offers OK to use for my CTSW? Does anyone know of additional sources for CTSW lights besides the above link? Last question, can we update to the rotating "ERB" beacon offered on this website (which looks like the factory beacon for a CTLS) for CTSW and would anyone know if the flashing ACL III or this ERB rotating beacon requires a LOA?

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The original light is from this website. It was the ACL for $221, then they came out with the ACL II another direct replacement for $48.

The ERB is the same light used on the CTLS and will work just fine on the CTSW for $522.

 

Or the new ACL III is a replacement for the standard ACL and ACL II and are their replacements and will work on the CTSW for $448.

 

Your choice, but if it were me I really dislike the old light because you can't really see it until you almost run into the thing during the day. The ERB on the LS works well even during the day and I have not tried or seen the new ACL III.

I believe, but don't quote me on this that all the screw hole patterns are the same on these. You could ask the light dealer when you order.

 

Technically if FD has a part number for this original light then it has to have an LOA and since they aren't selling them any more then I would hope an LOA would be easy to come by.

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Hi Roger. Thanks for the good info. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to track the history of the lights without info like this. You brought up my next question and that is if the distance between the screw holes is the same as the original for these beacons. I suspect that they are since the original CT lights came from this company but will contact the impoter and also will call Matt at FD to see if he can answer. Will also ask Matt about upgrading to the ERB rotating CTLS type beacon. If I'm going to be spending this much for the light :angry: , might as well spend a few bucks more to get the improved visability the ERB beacon provides.

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Hi Fred. Thanks for your suggestion. I'll probably contact the importer to see if he might reduce his price. Since my last post, I have talked to Matt @ FD and he has offered to talk to FD Germany tomorrow to see if the CTLS rotating beacon can be retrofitted to CTSW. Matt also pointed me to Aircraft Spruce and indicates that EPL beacon (part 11-05122) is actually the original factory released beacon and if this is purchased and installed, there would be no need for LOA.. Additionally, the price for this is $350. There is also the ACL III (part 11-10678) which is claimed to be 2 to 3 times brighter yet only a few dollars more at $392 at Spruce. Then, there is the CTLS rotating beacon ARB (part 11-06452 and authorized replacement for CTLS) which is $520 at Spruce. Matt indicates he should get a determination from Germany whether these last two lights require additional authorization to be used in CTSW.

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Dick,

Please post your results. I have new lights ready to be put on but pending that am somewhat interested in a different lighting arrangement and the discussion is useful.

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Still no word from FD USA regarding ACL approval from FD Germany. Matt at FD USA sent a note to me verifying he will contact me as soon as he hears from Germany. I will post if there is any new info.

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