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  #1  
Old 14 December 2008, 02:51 AM
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snopes snopes is offline
 
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Airplane LAX relies on Mormon temple for landings

Comment: I have seen a couple of emails with the following concerning a
Mormon temple near LAX airport:

"Elder Cordova also told us an experience he had one night as he was
finishing at the temple. The phone rang, it was the LA EX airport tower
control. He was asked where Moroni was. Apparently the light that shines
on the Angel Moroni had gone out and without it as a beacon the airplanes
could not land without danger. He said they climbed to the top of the
temple to start the light again with a generator that is used when there
is a power failure. He was amazed that they asked for Moroni by name.
The temple is not only a beacon in our life but those in LA."

Bullshit! It impossible to believe that one of the nation's busiest
airports would be considered unsafe if a civilan light source was not
working. I am sure the FFA would have a comment or two about that. It may
be very likely that a member of the church saw that the light was out and
made a call. But, this was a private action and certainly not related to
safety of the airport. I'd like to know the real story.
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  #2  
Old 14 December 2008, 03:10 AM
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What is this. Mayberry or Hicksville or something. I doubt it is even possible to fly a visual approach into LAX, much less be restricted to a single waypoint. Modern jets have such accurate instruments that they can get right down to the runway numbers automatically, (although i believe they don't use this capability for safety reasons).
It's Mormon glurge.
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  #3  
Old 14 December 2008, 04:17 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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The only thing I can think of that may be plausible is that the temples tower is high enough with in fight path to be a hazard. There for would need a warning light in case of loss of some type of problem with instruments.

A pilot may use this light as a visual marker when landing with good visibility, but it is not required or needed.
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  #4  
Old 14 December 2008, 03:19 PM
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Hero_Mike Hero_Mike is offline
 
 
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If a structure is tall enough to be a hazard to air navigation, standard aircraft warning lights are required. This is different from illumination - these lights are red and flash, and must be visible in all directions.

Pilots often use visual cues for their approaches - but they don't rely upon them.
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  #5  
Old 15 December 2008, 04:31 PM
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Who designs and builds an emergency backup generator system that requires a climb to the top of a tall building to start it up?
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Old 15 December 2008, 05:07 PM
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I'm guessing that if the Mormon Tower is visible from the air on approach, the pilots might sometimes refer to it jokingly "look Bob, there's the Mormon Tower, we'll be home soon, and you can have that cup of coffee and a break. Haha." Even though they know damn well exactly where they are.

But to use it for a visual approach - I'm guessing no - what with GPS, inertial navigation, radio gound guidance beacons, other ILS systems I'm probably not aware of and in the last resort directions from the radar operators at ground control.
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Old 15 December 2008, 05:35 PM
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Can't speak for the FAA or pilots, but in Navy land, it's not unusual at all to use buildings and such landmarks as navigation aids. They don't replace established nav lights, and don't make things unsafe if they disappear, they're just extra help for spatial awareness. I'll vote partly possible, but the importance is probably way overblown.

Wonko
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  #8  
Old 15 December 2008, 06:57 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
If a structure is tall enough to be a hazard to air navigation, standard aircraft warning lights are required. This is different from illumination - these lights are red and flash, and must be visible in all directions.
That makes much more sense than the pilots using the tower as a navigation aid. I can see the tower being concenerned that a tall structure in the vicinity of the flight path has lost its warning lights. That may well be sufficient grounds to alter the procedures at the airport.

Not all aircraft landing at a large airport like LAX are zillion dollar commercial jets. Small private aircraft also use the airport and they may well not have the $$$$ navigation equipment. Furthermore, the approach for a small aircraft may be substantially different than the approach used by the much larger commercial aircraft.
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  #9  
Old 15 December 2008, 10:29 PM
kanazawa kanazawa is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
The phone rang, it was the LAX airport tower
control.
I called them back. No mention of the light being out.

(310) 646-2297
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  #10  
Old 16 December 2008, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
What is this. Mayberry or Hicksville or something. I doubt it is even possible to fly a visual approach into LAX, much less be restricted to a single waypoint. Modern jets have such accurate instruments that they can get right down to the runway numbers automatically, (although i believe they don't use this capability for safety reasons).
It's Mormon glurge.
It's possible to fly a visual approach into LAX. For aircraft safety, there has to be such an approach in case of equipment failure. The technology we all love does wonderful things most of the time, but it's more frequent than is publicised when an aircraft loses navigational technology in-flight. That's why FAA charts have waypoints and landmarks on them, and that's why pilots and control towers use them if and when they need them.

As for relying on Moroni to guide the aircraft into LAX, that's probably hyperbole on the part of the LDS folk that publish stuff they may know less about than they want to admit.
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  #11  
Old 16 December 2008, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
That makes much more sense than the pilots using the tower as a navigation aid. I can see the tower being concenerned that a tall structure in the vicinity of the flight path has lost its warning lights. That may well be sufficient grounds to alter the procedures at the airport.

Not all aircraft landing at a large airport like LAX are zillion dollar commercial jets. Small private aircraft also use the airport and they may well not have the $$$$ navigation equipment. Furthermore, the approach for a small aircraft may be substantially different than the approach used by the much larger commercial aircraft.
I'm not a pilot, nor do I play one on TV, but when a good friend of mine owned a one-quarter interest in an aerobatic plane, he did regale us with many facts about it. Small aircraft which don't have an instrument landing system, are limited to visual flight rules - and I believe that prevents many of them from landing at night, or when visibility is limited. All of these are situations where visual approach landmarks would be obscured, and it wouldn't be good enough to just call the Temple to turn on the lights on their "visual" landmark.
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  #12  
Old 16 December 2008, 04:19 AM
Alchemy Alchemy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
Small aircraft which don't have an instrument landing system, are limited to visual flight rules - and I believe that prevents many of them from landing at night, or when visibility is limited.
With a private pilot's certificate or better, you can fly VFR at night so long as weather minima are met. (Visibility and distance from clouds.) In fact, a certain number of night hours are required to obtain this certificate.

There are lesser certifications ("sport pilot" and "recreational pilot") which have a variety of limitations including no night flying.

To fly IFR a person needs a private pilot certificate (or better) plus an IFR rating plus an aircraft with the proper navigational equipment.
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  #13  
Old 16 December 2008, 04:50 AM
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Even a small aircraft flying under VFR wouldn't (or shouldn't) be in danger should one of their visual cues become not visable when they reach their destination. We even teach our 15-year-old pilot wannabes to always make sure they're using a number of navigation techniques (not just pilotage) to make their trip safe. If someone called up the Mormon church and frantically asked them to turn the light back on because it was their only reference (even if this was a new private pilot flying by VFR), I'd be thinking they need some serious re-training.

At best, I would say this was a prank call. But it's more likely total crap.
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  #14  
Old 16 December 2008, 04:12 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beejtronic View Post
Even a small aircraft flying under VFR wouldn't (or shouldn't) be in danger should one of their visual cues become not visable when they reach their destination. We even teach our 15-year-old pilot wannabes to always make sure they're using a number of navigation techniques (not just pilotage) to make their trip safe. If someone called up the Mormon church and frantically asked them to turn the light back on because it was their only reference (even if this was a new private pilot flying by VFR), I'd be thinking they need some serious re-training.

At best, I would say this was a prank call. But it's more likely total crap.
Makes sense. But there is still the possibility that the post is off about the importance of the light as a navigation aid. If the light is just the warning light then it would be very important for anyone operating under VFR at night. Especially someone making a VFR approach into an airport at night.
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  #15  
Old 20 December 2008, 08:34 PM
LizardWizard LizardWizard is offline
 
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This story was discussed recently on a couple of Mormon blogs.

http://www.bycommonconsent.com/2008/12/zeitcast-29/

http://www.templestudy.com/2008/12/1...-guide-pilots/
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