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Flying at night can be very exceeding and rewarding, especially during evening flights and watching the sunset or even early morning seeing the sunrise. They can also, be very enjoyable, even romantic taking a friend, even a girlfriend or the ladies taking your boyfriend, or your spouse up and flying somewhere for a nice dinner.

FAR Part 1 defines night as the time between evening civil twilight and the begging of morning civil twilight, so what does that mean? Well, when the center of the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon, this marks evening.

But, in FAR Part 61.57, night is referred to 1 hour after sunset and 1 hour before sunrise. It also says that no pilot can act as pilot in command (PIC) of an aircraft carrying passengers unless he or she has made three takeoffs and three landing to a full stop within the preceding 90 days.

Night Flying Equipment

When flying at night it is important to always carry a flashlight, why?

It helps you visually, during your preflight inspection. In addition, being able to read sectional charts, and anything you need to write down during flight operations.

Care a good LED flashlight that has the ability to switch between both white, red and perhaps blue lights. LED lights last longer than incandescent bulbs, so you do not have to worry carrying extra lightbulbs, in case one burns out. Remember to always carry extra batteries.

The flashlight should be large enough and kept in a place that is easily accessible.

When conducting your preflight inspection use the white light for better viewing of the airplane's interior and outside components.

In flight, use the red light to read sectional charts, approach plates, taxi diagrams and anything you need to write down.

The red light also saves your night vision.

Caution TIP:

BE AWARE, when using a red-light during flight and using a VFR sectional chart, the red light will change the color of curtain features and symbols on a VFR sectional chart.


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