Questions tagged [night-flying]

For questions regarding flying in conditions without natural lighting.

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Are planes flying at night in Papua New Guinea?

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?
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3 votes
2 answers
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What counts as "night" for a student pilot's night landings? [duplicate]

According to 14 CFR 61.57, "no person may act as PIC of an aircraft carrying passengers during the period beginning one hour after sunset and ending one hour before sunrise as published in the ...
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1 vote
3 answers
378 views

Is night vision essential to pilots?

If someone with no night vision were in the cockpit of a nocturnal flight, that person's situation would resemble Instrument Flight Rules. Am I correct? So: In theory, can someone lacking night ...
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2 votes
2 answers
384 views

Can I use dual time for the 10 night takeoffs and landings required in 61.129?

For the 5 night VFR hours and 10 T/O at class B/C/D required in 14 CFR 61.129(a)(4)(ii), can you mix/match solo and dual instruction (as PIC) time for these hours and landings? In other words, are ...
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92 views

What is the first fighter jet aircraft which carried out a night bombing mission?

Does anyone know in which occasion it was carried out and the date which it was carried out? Night bombing began in World War I and was widespread during World War II. A number of modern aircraft ...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

How is an off-field landing accomplished at night?

Common sense suggests it's much easier to do an off-field landing at day than at night, curious to know how it's accomplished at night.
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6 votes
1 answer
307 views

Can I do a VFR night sightseeing flight in Europe?

I am an American living in the Netherlands, and I recently converted my US PPL to an EASA PPL. I have significant night flying experience in the US, but I understand that night VFR in Europe is ...
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1 answer
258 views

How to make a cockpit LCD display night vision compliant?

I am trying to understand what does it means by making an LCD display compatible with Night Vision? The aircraft is an old Mirage of 1950's. If I use an LCD display in it's cockpit display unit then ...
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18 votes
1 answer
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Why is this F/A-18 flying through a hailstorm of sparkles?

The F/A-18 Super Hornet squadron VF-102 Diamondbacks, flying from the USS Ronald Reagan, has posted a montage video of its 2019 Indo-China cruise. At about 5:15, the video shows a night-time cockpit ...
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13 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is the best procedure for landing at my destination if I have a full electrical failure at night?

What is the best procedure for landing VFR at the intended destination airport and I have an electrical failure, in the following scenario? Let's assume this is a VFR flight and I'm 50 miles from the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
970 views

How should night time be calculated when it is not night during the entire flight? [duplicate]

I am B777 rated pilot and software developer. Nowadays I am working on an application about flights and this app has to calculate night time. Still I am trying to figure out how to calculate night ...
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6 votes
1 answer
231 views

Does pilot-controlled lighting work if you are interrupted by another voice transmission?

This question is in the context of pilot-activated runway lighting, which involves clicking the microphone e.g. 7 times to turn on the lights at night. I was wondering what happens when you are ...
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3 answers
650 views

How do pilots avoid clouds under night VFR?

When flying under visual flight rules (VFR), pilots have to be able to see far enough away to be able to avoid running into other aircraft or the ground. Therefore, VFR flight requires good ...
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5 votes
6 answers
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Is night VMC still VMC if the underlying terrain is completely unlighted?

The whole point of visual meteorological conditions (VMC) is that there is sufficient visibility for a pilot to be able to safely fly by visual reference alone, without reference to instruments. This,...
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8 votes
2 answers
644 views

At what altitude might a pilot be able to see at least the brightest stars during the day?

In this comment I pondered if I should ask: "Did Test pilot and astronaut Joseph A. Walker see stars during the day when flying the X-15 above the Karman line? But instead, I'll just ask at what ...
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282 views

What is "scintillation" and are "qualified pilots" aware of it?

This answer to Has great eyesight been necessary for astronomers? mentions Astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell's recounting of a likely first visual observation of a pulsar. This can be found for example ...
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10 votes
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How do pilots avoid thunderstorms at night over the pacific en route to Australia where there is no radar? And what if a large front develops?

While there is some limited radar on board for pilots, we hear that there is no radar over the ocean which is why flight locations are estimated. As the distance between the United States and ...
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0 answers
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Night VFR in France

I would like to conduct a night VFR in France and I am looking for the special regulations (references) for the following questions If an airport is approved for night VFR and nothing is mentioned ...
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5 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why do fighter pilots use night vision goggles rather than normal light inside the cockpit?

I've seen military personnel using night vision goggles (NVGs). With their flight altitude, I don't think the enemy can notice them. I thought it may be due to eye strain, but other units use red ...
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6 votes
3 answers
258 views

How useful is skyscrapers and high buildings lighting to get a visual reference for pilots by night? (not obstruction lights, just general lights)

I would like to know how useful is skyscrapers and high buildings lighting to get a visual reference for helicopter and small planes pilots by night in cities like New York. This is different from ...
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1 vote
0 answers
217 views

What lights to use for a high-altitude weather balloon?

I am designing a high-altitude weather balloon for a college project. The balloon may fly at night, which means that, per FAA regulations, I need a light that is visible for 5 miles. Does anyone ...
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0 votes
0 answers
79 views

What are the reasons for not wearing polarized glasses during flying, if glass cockpit and polarized windshield aren't an issue? [duplicate]

So far the only reasons I can find are the newer planes come with polarized windshields that goes dark when you wear polarized glasses and the fact that glass cockpits become dark. But is there a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
523 views

Do solo night time and “towered” landings total separately toward the solo night requirements in FAR 61.129?

FAR 61.129(a)(4)(ii) reads as follows for an applicant for commercial airplane single-engine, and makes similar provisions for other categories and classes. (4) Ten hours of solo flight time … that ...
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3 votes
2 answers
472 views

What problems would the early F-16 have if they were to fight during night?

From Wikipedia: Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. There is no citation for this, so I suppose first asking if this is even ...
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0 votes
1 answer
172 views

How to navigate at night after a complete navigation systems failure? [duplicate]

How do pilots deal with incorrect navigation readings at night? How do they know where to fly? At low altitude do they have to know the shapes of cities and villages? At high altitude and speeds over ...
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1 vote
1 answer
523 views

Does Part 135 allow single-engine night IFR operations in a turboprop?

Do the Part 135 rules allow single-engine turboprop night IFR Part-135 operations? If not, then all the night activities of current popular (and expensive) single-engine turboprops are by private or ...
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0 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why aren't runways lit from overhead, like highways?

Why don't runways have overhead high-mast lights like roads? YouTube videos substantiate that aircraft landing lights and runway edge lights are too faint to illuminate the whole runway, and the ...
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16 votes
3 answers
7k views

Are landings easier during the day or at night?

When is it easier for a pilot to perform a "good" touchdown: during daytime or nighttime? Considering typical flights for 737s to holiday destinations so mostly small airports with a single runway. ...
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9 votes
2 answers
404 views

Does any country issue daytime-only commercial licenses?

I got my PPL last year (EASA, UK) and I've always been interested in the commercial route. However, due to my red-green colour blindness I've failed the Ishihara, Farnsworth D15 and CAD vision tests ...
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6 votes
1 answer
347 views

Does EASA allow IFR, NVFR or SVFR in gliders?

Is it legally possible in Europe to get clearances for IFR, night VFR or special VFR while flying gliders? Specifically, I'm interested in sailplanes, powered sailplanes and ultralight sailplanes (...
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6 votes
1 answer
203 views

How good is the ground visibility by a moonless night In the Grand Canyon?

My night flying experience is limited to light-polluted coastal southern California. When flying over low-population countryside on a clear, moonless night, do the stars provide enough light to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
273 views

How dangerous would it be to take off at night with no ATC, no runway lighting system and have a single engine working?

I was wondering how dangerous it would be to have an engine failure (with a twin-engine) during take off at night when you have no runway lights (and no city close-by) and no ATC? Would using the ...
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33 votes
8 answers
15k views

Why do some companies perform their freight flights only during the night?

I heard that for example FedEx among others performs the majority of their flights during the night, the same goes for TNT. Is the reason for that is that during the day all of the freight is being ...
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4 votes
0 answers
290 views

Are there FAA approved infrared night vision devices we could use in case of engine failure at night in IFR conditions?

Terrible situation. Your single engine on your general aviation aircraft fails. You are flying at night, no airports nearby enough to land at and patchy fog causing Instrument Meteorological ...
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12 votes
2 answers
2k views

If I am pushing my aircraft into the hangar with a tow bar, at night, with the engine off, am I required to activate my rotating beacon?

I know there is a similar question here: When to use Beacon, Anti Collision, Strobe, Logo and Navigation lights?, but it doesn't answer my specific question. Do I need to have my rotating beacon on ...
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16 votes
1 answer
12k views

What is the night effect?

I read the night effect takes place in radio navigation, especially VOR and NDB. My questions are: What is its nature? Why does it occur? What are the consequences of it?
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17 votes
2 answers
2k views

How should night time be determined and logged in a fast westbound plane?

You take off from KFLL (Ft Lauderdale, FL) an hour before sunset in a B737. You're heading to KSEA (Seattle, WA). 4:35PM EST plus 6 hours 34 minutes is 11:09PM EST, or 8:09PM PST. Seattle sunset was ...
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23 votes
2 answers
32k views

How does the FAA define day and night?

For the purposes of regulations how do the FARS define daytime? Is it sunrise to sunset, civil twilight, astronomical twilight? This question was asked before with regards to EASA rules, but FAA was ...
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18 votes
3 answers
7k views

How did night fighter aircraft manage to shoot down their foes in World War II?

I know that those plane had radar to acquire an approximate location of the enemy, but how did they spot them after that? You need to be accurate when you try to shoot down an enemy plane, and ...
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14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why don't light-up runway numbers similar to runway lights?

I know that some airports have lights on the runway that can be controlled with the mic transmit button. Additionally, during night flight, runway lights help the pilot determine where the runway is ...
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4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Help identify an unknown airborne object [closed]

In the wee hours of the morning of last Saturday (July 30, 2016), while out stargazing, I saw something odd which I am unable to explain. The object was traveling with a bearing of about 5-20° east ...
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18 votes
4 answers
40k views

Is flying during the day safer than flying at night?

Is there any correlation between night or day flight time and rate of accidents? To me it seems that there should not be a difference. If an airplane needs to execute an emergency landing, it has to ...
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4 votes
3 answers
5k views

How does a small aircraft like a Cessna fly at night?

What happens when a small aircraft like Cessna is flying in daytime then night hits and its now pitch black with zero visibility? How does he not run into mountains and the like?
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5 votes
2 answers
483 views

What should I know before getting the KAMRA laser eye surgery procedure as a pilot?

I was recently looking into the KAMRA procedure to fix my reading problem. Then I came across some posts that discourage it as it causes one to see halos in night so particularly bad for pilots. I was ...
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9 votes
1 answer
7k views

Does the FAA require a rating for night VFR?

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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
3k views

How do pilots get enough sleep in preparation for a long night flight?

Are pilots authorised to use sleeping pills to rest before long haul flight that departs at night hours? This question comes in mind as I have flown Turkish Airlines flights that depart at 2.30 at ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is a civilian pilot allowed to fly under part 91 rules with Night Vision Goggles?

I asked a related question: How hard is it to fly with night vision goggles? It appears from the answers so far that there are differing opinions, and I guess it might depend on the quality/age/...
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22 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is an eclipse considered 'night' for regulatory purposes?

A partial or total eclipse is as dark as twilight, but only for a short period. Does it count as night flying for regulatory purposes? I'm looking for a UK answer, but information about the US is ...
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10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Can spatial disorientation in low visibility situations lead a pilot to fly upside down?

In this comment it's mentioned that pilots in instrument conditions may wind up in a situation where they're inverted due to spatial disorientation, and be completely unaware of it until they fly out ...
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22 votes
2 answers
5k views

During night flying, which color lens for a flashlight is most beneficial?

I went on a night flight tonight after not flying for a few months. I didn't have any monochrome lights, so I actually just covered a flashlight of mine with red athletic tape (which acted as a ...
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