anti-collision lights (strobes)

Is it legal to turn off the anti-collision lights (strobes) on the Cirrus at night while in close proximity to another aircraft (i.e. during runup) so as not to blind the pilot of that aircraft?

FAR 91.209 suggests, that in the interest of safety, I can. But AIM 4-3-23 states that I’m required to have the anti-collision lights on during all types of operations. The AIM also seems to suggest that the anti-collision lights may be turned off only during adverse meteorological conditions and that “supplemental” strobes can be turned off if deemed necessary. Are the strobes on the Cirrus considered “supplemental”?

FAR 91.209 (b):
No person may: 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.

And AIM 4-3-23 (a):
Aircraft position lights are required to be lighted on aircraft operated on the surface and in flight from sunset to sunrise. In addition, aircraft equipped with an anti-collision light system are required to operate that light system during all types of operations (day and night). However, during any adverse meteorological conditions, the pilot-in-command may determine that the anti-collision lights should be turned off when their light output would constitute a hazard to safety (14 CFR Section 91.209). Supplementary strobe lights should be turned off on the ground when they adversely affect ground personnel or other pilots, and in flight when there are adverse reflection from clouds.

FAR91.209 gives you the right as the pilot to turn off the lights “in the interest of safety”. You make the call. You have the right to do it!



Thanks to all who replied for confirming my beliefs regarding this matter. The issue came up while I was parked next to another aircraft during a run-up at night and I turned the strobes off as a courtesy to the pilot next to me. My instructor (I was getting a Cirrus checkout at the time) insisted that I turn them back on because the FARs said they must be on at all times. It’s now clear that I have the authority as PIC to turn them off if I feel it necessary. Thanks again!