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Ask the Pilot, with Captain Mike Bowers


Q: While I was on a flight from Houston to Honolulu, I noticed that there were two first officers but only one captain. Why is this?
A: The lighting helps pilots determine their position. Taxiways have blue lights along the edges and green lights embedded on the centerline to guide pilots in low-visibility conditions. Runways have primarily white edge lights, replaced by amber lights for the last 2,000 feet of runway. Most runways also have white centerline lights every 50 feet, lights which alternate from red to white between 3,000 and 1,000 feet of remaining runway, and lights that are entirely red between 1,000 remaining feet and the end of the runway. The changes help us to visually determine how much runway remains simply by observing the color of
the lights.

Do you have a question for Captain Bowers? You can write to him at askthepilot@united.com

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