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Does a PPL require a specific rating or endorsement for night VFR in the US? Night flying seems like a special challenge and I'd think the FAA would want you to show that you've had proper training for it. This question talks about currency requirements, but I can't find anything on a night VFR endorsement.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think it is worth noting that the Sport Pilot License does not include Night flight. That is one critical difference between Sport and PPL. $\endgroup$ – abelenky Apr 25 '16 at 20:08
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There's no separate night rating or endorsement in the US, it's included in the private pilot flight proficiency requirements (14 CFR 61.107) and the specific required experience is in 14 CFR 61.109:

(2) Except as provided in §61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in a single-engine airplane that includes—

(i) One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance; and

(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

Some very minimal instrument training is also required, which can be helpful at night:

(3) 3 hours of flight training in a single-engine airplane on the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight;

That all applies to private pilots; sport pilots may not fly at night. And as David pointed out, there is an exception to the night requirements under 61.110 for pilots in Alaska: they can skip the night training but if they do, they can't fly at night.

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  • $\begingroup$ So it's just part of the PPL but has a separate currency retirement? $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Dec 30 '15 at 20:10
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    $\begingroup$ @TomMcW It's part of the PPL but the currency requirements are only for carrying passengers, there's no currency requirement for flying solo at night (apart from the general flight review that's required every 2 years). $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Dec 30 '15 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ Also realize regulatory currency is different from Insurance requirement currency, which for small GA planes and flight clubs is usually 30 days otherwise have to go up with an instructor to fulfil the currency requirements. $\endgroup$ – slookabill Jan 2 '16 at 0:51
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    $\begingroup$ You can obtain a PPL without meeting the night requirements in Alaska. You will have a special limitation that prohibits flying at night. See 14 CFR 61.110. You can get that limitation removed by convincing a DE that you have had the required training. $\endgroup$ – David Schwartz Apr 25 '16 at 19:50
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    $\begingroup$ I think Alaska is different because at certain times of the year (simmer) there is very little true night. Deep twilight is the darkest it gets anywhere near the Arctic Circle. $\endgroup$ – PJNoes Apr 25 '16 at 22:48

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