I was watching the old TV show Destination Truth and the host Josh Gates said that no planes fly after dark in Papua New Guinea, is what he was saying fact?


1 Answer 1


The Civial Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) of Papua New Guinea allows flying at night, assuming the aircraft is equipped for night flying:

91.511 Night instruments and equipment

(a) Each powered aircraft with an airworthiness certificate operated by night shall be equipped in accordance with 91.509 and have—

  1. except as provided in paragraph (b), a means of indicating rate of turn and slip; and
  2. position lights; and
  3. an anti-collision light system; and
  4. illumination for each required instrument or indicator or charts.

(b) An aircraft equipped with a third attitude instrument indicator that is usable through 360° of pitch and roll does not need to be equipped with a means of indicating rate of turn.

(CASA PNG Part 91 General Operating and Flight Rules)

However, as @Pondlife pointed out in the comments, flying VFR at night is only allowed in the vicinity of the airport:

91.301 VFR meteorological minima

(a) Except as provided in rule 91.303 and paragraphs (b) and (c), a pilot-in-command must not operate an aircraft under VFR— [...]

  1. more than 5 nm from the aerodrome of departure at night.

Any flights further away will require flying under IFR at night.

Searching through the playback feature of flightradar24, I found a night flight from Moro to Port Moresby performed in a King Air just a few hours ago:

King Air flying in PNG

Sunset in Port Moresby was at 18:33 local time today and the aircraft departed at 19:16 and was estimated to land at 20:39.

  • $\begingroup$ The episode was first aired in 2007 so maybe back then it was true, but today they have changed. $\endgroup$
    – dean1957
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 18:00
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ You might like to add that 91.301 says that night VFR is only allowed within 5nm of an airport. I know nothing about the TV show, but it's possible that they were exaggerating or generalizing that rule into "no night flying", especially if the show included any bush and/or mission flying. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Pondlife Thanks, added. $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 18:21
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ To be fair, most countries don't allow night VFR - the U.S. is very much an exception in this regard. $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ My understanding is that IFR in PNG is basically VFR with traffic advisories over a terrible quality HF radio (because most of the airspace is actually uncontrolled?—not sure). $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 0:10

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