NWA
Topic Author
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Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Thu Mar 04, 2004 3:54 pm

Later today, about 8:00 EST, I am going on a night X-C. I was just wondering if there are any quick tips any of you could give me so I dont act like a moron later. Thanks.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy JXN - FWA

[Edited 2004-03-04 07:55:08]
23 victor, turn right heading 210, maintain 3000 till established, cleared ILS runwy 24.
 
7574EVER
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:06 pm

Hmmm...Rivers and railroad tracks are bad checkpoints.  Laugh out loud

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!!
 
Woodreau
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Thu Mar 04, 2004 10:28 pm

Lotsa lotsa flashlights for the cockpit with red or blue lenses whichever color that floats your boat...

You'll tend to flare later than normal because you won't have your normal references. So your landings will be rather firm in the beginning until you get used to the lack of references.

Woodreau / KMVL

Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
goboeing
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Thu Mar 04, 2004 10:55 pm

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!

Nick
 
SlamClick
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:09 pm

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.  Smile

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.
 
Inbound
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:07 am

I second SlamClick..

Trust your instruments.

in all honesty, I always preferred night vfr flying over day when I was training in Toronto. The air is more calm, less traffic, and whatever traffic there is, you can see them from miles away.

5 miles out from the airport, you can clearly see the runway (lights).
Also, there is less to distract you at night on the outside.

good luck and have fun.
Maintain own separation with terrain!
 
NWA
Topic Author
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:13 am

I have already flowen at night, but this is my first X-C at night.
23 victor, turn right heading 210, maintain 3000 till established, cleared ILS runwy 24.
 
corey07850
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:51 am

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.

Good luck!
 
jhooper
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Fri Mar 05, 2004 3:20 am

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.

Yep, this happened to me last week. You tend to pay ALOT more attention to the way the engine sounds at night  Big grin


You'll tend to flare later than normal because you won't have your normal references. So your landings will be rather firm in the beginning until you get used to the lack of references.


Is this caused by people not looking far enough down the runway?
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
saintsman
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Fri Mar 05, 2004 5:53 am

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
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Fri Mar 05, 2004 6:05 am

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.
I don't know, so this is my signature.
 
futureualpilot
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:45 am

JHooper-

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.

Life is better when you surf.
 
Inbound
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Fri Mar 05, 2004 1:31 pm

hmm, it's long after 8pm EST.

shouldn't he have been back by now? :p

Maintain own separation with terrain!
 
7574EVER
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Fri Mar 05, 2004 1:36 pm

Hmmm....True.

Maybe we should start the A.net air patrol.
Right rudder....Right rudder...Come on, more right rudder....Right rudder......Aw forget it, I quit!!
 
cancidas
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Fri Mar 05, 2004 1:40 pm

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
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Fri Mar 05, 2004 3:22 pm

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...

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
pilotpip
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Fri Mar 05, 2004 3:44 pm

File a flight plan and get VFR flight following. Those will help with three things:

1) Steer you right if you get lost

2) Improve Radio Communications

3) They start looking for you sooner with a flight plan.

Enjoy!!
DMI
 
jhooper
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Fri Mar 05, 2004 5:46 pm

ok NWA; we'd really like to hear from you now..... how did your flight go?
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
NWA
Topic Author
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Sat Mar 06, 2004 5:38 am

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
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Sat Mar 06, 2004 6:16 am

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.

Bring a second flashlight.
smrtrthnu
 
fspilot747
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Sun Mar 07, 2004 10:52 am

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.


FSP
 
ThirtyEcho
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Sun Mar 07, 2004 11:46 pm

Here's three tips for night X-C:

(1) Get your instrument rating.

(2) Get your multi.

(3) Never fly single engine night X-C again.
 
NWA
Topic Author
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Mon Mar 08, 2004 2:59 am

Well, the flight went ok. I ended up doing a diversion, and got there pretty good so that was cool. Thanks to everyone for you help!
23 victor, turn right heading 210, maintain 3000 till established, cleared ILS runwy 24.
 
Guest

RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Mon Mar 08, 2004 12:54 pm

30E...

Reguarding your three tips for night flying:

(1) Get your instrument rating.
(2) Get your multi.
(3) Never fly single engine night X-C again.

Excellent advise, but you're actually jumping the gun a bit. NWA has got to make this flight at night to get his license, after that, your tips have a lot of merit.

Jetguy
 
Inbound
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RE: Tips For My Upcomming Night X-C

Tue Mar 09, 2004 1:20 am

Jetguy, that sounds very convincing especially after reading your signature.

*kidding* bro.  Laugh out loud
Maintain own separation with terrain!

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