The finite-volume method for radiation is applied to investigate a radiative heating of rocket base plane due to searchlight and plume emissions. The exhaust plume is assumed to absorb, emit and scatter the radiant energy isotropically, as well as anisotropically, while the medium between the plume boundary and the base plane is cold and nonparticipating. The scattering phase function is modeled by a finite series of Legendre polynomials. After validating the benchmark solution by comparison with that of previous works obtained by the Monte-Carlo method, further investigations have been done by changing various parameters, such as plume cone angle, scattering albedo, scattering phase function, optical radius and nozzle exit temperature. The results show that the base plane is predominantly heated by the plume emission, rather than the searchlight emission, when the nozzle exit temperature is the same as that of plume. Copyright (C) 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.