Operations resources

Operations

Air defence identification zone

Visual signals

Visual signals for use in the event of interception

SeriesIntercepting aircraft signalsMeaningIntercepted aircraft responseMeaning
Initiated by intercepting aircraft [key]
1Day or night – Rocking aircraft and flashing navigational lights at irregular intervals (and landing lights in the case of a helicopter) from a position slightly above and ahead of, and normally to the left of, the intercepted aircraft  (or to the right if the intercepted aircraft is a helicopter) and, after acknowledgement, a slow level turn, normally to the left (or to the right in the case of a helicopter) on the desired heading (see note 1).You have been intercepted, follow meDay or night – Rocking aircraft, flashing navigational lights at irregular intervals and following.Understood, will comply
2 [alt]Day or night – An abrupt breakaway manoeuvre from the intercepted aircraft consisting of a climbing turn of 90° or more without crossing the line of flight of the intercepted aircraft.You may proceedDay or night – Rocking the aircraft.Understood, will comply
3Day or night – Lowering landing gear (if fitted), showing steady landing lights and overflying runway in use or, if the intercepted aircraft  is a helicopter, overflyng  the helicopter landing area.  In the case of helicopters, the intercepting helicopter makes a landing approach, coming to hover near to the landing area.Land at this aerodromeDay or night – Lowering landing gear (if fitted), showing steady landing  lights and following the intercepting aircraft and,  if after overflying the runway  in use or helicopter landing area landing is considered safe, proceeding to land.Understood, will comply
4 [alt]Day or night – Raising landing gear (if fitted) and flashing landing lights while passing over runway in use or helicopter landing area at a height exceeding 300 m (1000 ft) but  not exceeding 600 m (2000 ft)  (or, in the case of a helicopter,  at a height exceeding 50 m  (170 ft) but not exceeding 100 m (330 ft)) above the aerodrome level, and continuing to circle runway in use or helicopter landing area. If unable to flash landing lights, flash any other lights available.The aerodrome you have designated is inadequateDay or night – If it is desired that the intercepted aircraft follow the intercepting aircraft to an alternate aerodrome, the intercepting aircraft raises its landing gear (if fitted) and uses the Serial 1 signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.Understood, follow me
If it is decided to release the intercepted aircraft, the intercepting aircraft uses the Serial 2 signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.Understood, you may proceed [alt]
5Day or night – Regular switching on and off of all available lights but in such  a manner as to be distinct from flashing lights.Cannot complyDay or night – Use Serial 2  signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.Understood
6 [alt]Day or night – Irregular flashing of all available lights.In distressDay or night – Use Serial 2  signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.Understood

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