Larry Salganek has been instructing pilots for 25 years. Most of his instructing has been …
Night flying is generally smoother and features less communications traffic congestion than daytime flying. But to have a safe night flight, the pilot needs to be extra vigilant in several areas.
For starters, it is much more difficult to find a suitable area for an emergency landing at night, so you might want to adjust your route of flight to remain within a reasonable distance of suitable emergency airports. That might necessitate flying slightly higher at night to maximize gliding distance.
Flying higher, however, has its own downside at night, since vision is directly affected by oxygen level. Consider using supplemental oxygen if flying above 5,000 feet.
Prepare your eyes for night vision by wearing sunglasses for at least 30 minutes before dusk. Rhodopsin – visual purple – enhances the sensitivity of the rods in your eyes. Once your eyes are dark-adapted, they can discern the light of a candle at 2 miles. Even a brief flash of light will bleach out the rhodopsin and destroy the enhanced night vision. Rhodopsin is insensitive to red light.
Have at least two flashlights available, and keep instrument lights as dim as possible.
Currency requirements to carry passengers: 3 full stop landings within an hour of sunset or sunrise during the preceding 90 days.
As our way to help you celebrate the New Year, we’re offering a huge discount on the Hamfist Trilogy!
You can download the book in the e-book format of your choice at Smashwords, and use coupon code GJ73Z for a 50% discount.