Tips About Flying an Aircraft Under Night Operations
Night-time is an ideal time for flying because there no winds and possibilities of thermal turbulence. However, a pilot needs to take care of a few things that may not be of utmost significance in the daytime.
This includes emergency planning, making adequate arrangements for additional batteries, and operational flashlights, etc. In this article, we will talk about the fundamentals of night flying and important considerations to keep in mind when flying an aircraft in the night.
Flight Literacy is a leading website that provides vast flight training educational materials to the public. Learning resources are provided free of cost in the form of manuals or documents. The site advises a pilot to learn the operational risks associated with night flying and get trained to ensure safe and efficient flying.
About Night Flying
The aircraft doesn’t have an idea whether it is operated in the dark or sunlight. So, the mechanical functioning of an aircraft is almost the same in both the night and daytime. It functions based on the inputs, and flight controls provided by the pilot.
The pilot has to consider certain aspects of night operations to ensure safe and efficient night flight operations, and some of them being requirements of equipment, emergencies, and procedures.
Things to Consider When Flying at Night-Time
Proper planning is an essential requirement for night flying.
Here are a few important things that a pilot should consider when flying an aircraft at the night.
- One or two new and operational flashlights,
- Additional batteries in the event when the existing batteries go dead during the flight
- Alternate planning of the VFR route
- Also, plan for emergencies, that is likely to occur during the flight
- The regulation pertaining to night flying such as the requirement to carry passengers, 45-minute fuel reserve, etc.
Regulations Related to Night Flying
Below are the important regulations in regards to night flights. It is important for every pilot should follow when flying an aircraft at night.
· Verify Availability and Operating Hours
A pilot should ensure the availability of fuel, runway lights, FBO hours, air traffic control closures, approach process, and other functional aspects of the changes in flight environment during the night. It is important to verify “NOTAMS” before the flight.
· Runway Lights
A pilot should be familiar with different types of light that could impact the performance of the aircraft. These include aircraft lights, runway lights, approach lights, and airport lights. Ensure that they are in the best condition before the night flight.
· Illusions Are Real
Often pilots who fly at night come across unreal illusions. Without knowledge of these illusions, it is quite common for them to become a victim of those situations. Some of these illusions are the black hole effect, false horizons, the continuous flickering of the strobe lights that may lead to disorientation in pilots, and autokinesis.
There are several essential factors that a pilot would need to consider at the time of planning a night flight. Rules and regulations, emergency planning, etc. are a few of them. The above information would help in the safe and smooth execution of your coming night flight.