7574EVER From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 478 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3522 times:
Hmmm...Rivers and railroad tracks are bad checkpoints.
Seriously though, get enough rest and be sure let your eyes adjust. But on the subject of checkpoints...Towns are the best. Believe it or not, roads and expressways can be hard to see at times. It all depends on how much traffic there is.
Right rudder....Right rudder...Come on, more right rudder....Right rudder......Aw forget it, I quit!!
Goboeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2792 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 3248 times:
Why aren't you watching Survivor at 8? Just kidding, that's the only thing on television that I watch and I've skipped that to go on night flights. I enjoy night flying because it's usually smoother and flying over cities is fun because it's so bright. The thing that I would be most concerned about for the first night flight is flaring on landing. The darkness can be deceptive the first few times and you might be a lot lower than you think. Have a good flight!
SlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 66
Reply 4, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 3250 times:
Expect "autorough" a phenomenon where the engine sounds like it is running rough when you head out over unlighted terrain or water. It goes away after a while.
Believe your instruments. There are a few things that can cause disturbing visual perceptions. Your instruments will tell you the truth. For example on a hazy night, a few scattered single white lights on the ground a a few of the brighter stars being visible can sort of make the sky and earth blend and it can be hard to tell where the horizon really is.
Plan the flight. Fly the plan. It is fun to see how closely the night scenery matches your expectations.
In the future I'd suggest that during your day landings keep your gaze farther down the runway and not right in next to the airplane. This helps with height judgement in night landings. At night if you focus on the patch of runway that is lit up brightly by your landing lights you can sort of get target fixation on it and the landing may not be what you'd hoped. When you are used to how the runway looks from ten feet and five feet and one foot, your night landings get a lot easier.
Night flying is instrument flying. And ditto on the redundant flashlights.
Enjoy it. Even after thousands of hours of night flight, it is still a treat.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
Corey07850 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2535 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 3176 times:
The main difference is remember to pick checkpoints at night that are EASY to see. Try to pick airports if you can because they are usually well lit and have beacons. Otherwise Interstates are good, and anything else that is well lit or easily distinguishable. Also, if you're familiar with them, try to pick the intersection of to radials off a VOR. No one says you can't use them as a checkpoint, and they are extremely accurate in determining position.
Since you've flown at night, I'm sure you know how distances are deceiving, so don't descend toward your destination airport too early or late.
Also try to get the airport diagram off myairplane.com or a similar site... This way you can be assured of your position at your dest. airport since it may look much different than daytime.
Saintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 3146 times:
I don't know where you plan on going but don't make it hard. It's not cheating to plan an XC with easy references first time round. A successful XC will do wonders for the confidence. You can make it harder next time.
SSTjumbo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 3147 times:
Depending on how flexible your options are, you might want to plan a flight straight down an interstate highway. These flights, both day and night, are by far the easiest to navigate because if you're flying mostly straight, it's hard to lose track of such an obvious road. I flew a 70 mile flight which was significantly longer than any flight I had ever made, and just following an interstate all the way there made my life a whole lot easier.
Futureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2615 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 3129 times:
Is this caused by people not looking far enough down the runway?
I think it is caused, as stated, by lack of references to que the pilot as to how high he/she is. When landing in the day we use our peripheral vision to judge when to flare, decent rate, etc. but at night peripheral vision isnt so great.
Cancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 3103 times:
TOP OFF YOUR TANKS!! do so whenever you can. you have no clue how easy it is to forget that. i did once, had to devert for fuel. one other person at my flight school ended up crash because she didn't top off.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
USAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 3085 times:
Pick an airport with flat terrain if possible...for my night dual XC we went to an airport with some hills in the area and quite frankly it was very scary flying around there knowing that there was factorable terrain...a few years later I had occasion to drive by that airport on a road trip (its located about a 3 hour drive from my house) by pure coincidence, and see the surrounding terrain in light for the first time...it was real intimidating and I could not believe that we flew into that airport at night and made it...
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
NWA From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 1200 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (11 years 7 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3050 times:
Oh, sorry guys, thanks for the tips. Sadly, the weather in FWA was IFR...so, I try for tomorrow. After this flight, my instructor said I am going to X-C solo, so I am kinda excited. I shall let you know how it goes if I get to fly tomorrow.
23 victor, turn right heading 210, maintain 3000 till established, cleared ILS runwy 24.
Saab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1621 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (11 years 7 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3045 times:
Slam Click and the others are right, night flying is virtually instrument flying unless you have an exceptionally bright moon and other good visual clues.
Be careful. Seems to go without saying.
Also, I second his thoughts about proper preparation. Plan for things you might not expect. Fill the tanks. Get Flight Following if possible. Night VFR is harder by far, especially in an environment with a lot of lights, like a big city. They all look the same and it is easy to get disoriented as far as navigation goes.
Avoid hilly terrain on a night VFR flight.
I actually found night VFR easiest in very remote areas. I found it hardest in eastern Florida with all the lights.
FSPilot747 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 3599 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (11 years 7 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3009 times:
Use VORs to check every single checkpoint you have, and don't space out (never space out, but especially on a night flight). Freeway's are great, too.
I did my Night XC to PSP from Fullerton (for those who are familiar with the area). Had to go through a very tight valley with mountains over 10,000 feet on both sides. Turbulence was incredible, full deflection wouldn't work sometimes! Definitely a good experience.
Oh yes, and please keep a sharp eye on your engine instruments, especially oil temp and pressure.