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How much night flight training did you receive while getting your private and commercial? How much night flight classroom instruction did you receive during the same time period? Do you feel it was adequate, or would you have been more comfortable with more of your hours flown at night. (Real night, dark and out of the pattern)

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I flew about 10hrs at night during my Private (all at the end). It was all cross country (mostly through the dark-ass desert), except for the eight trips around the pattern we did at an airport on the edge of lighted civilization.

 

I don't recall much ground prep, and for the Commercial I just flew the minimum (dual).

 

It wasn't until after my Private (during an insurance check, for renting) that I recieved any 'worthwhile' practice. The Cfi took me to a very dark place at the edge of the airport, turned off the lights, and we practiced some pick-ups, and set-downs. We then did some landings (from altitude) with the landing lights off.

 

For some additional 'ground', I went to a WINGS seminar on night flying.

 

Flying at night is great, but I do admit, training at night does seem a bit lacking. I currently have around 275 night hours, pretty much all in the R22, with about 170 of it night cross country.

 

Getting away from the 'pattern' at night is awesome, but I wouldn't recomend flying over areas where its dark underneath!

:)

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For the majority of my training, the only night flying I had was whatever Pt 61 required. I did take a longer cross-country flight while time-building for Commercial that involved practically IFR conditions for four hours, mainly due to lack of ground illumination and no moon.

 

I made it a point to do as much of my instrument training at night as I could, mainly to keep myself honest under the foggles. I think I got another 15 hours that way.

 

The first school I attended didn't allow night flights unless it was to "check the box" for the 141 requirements. Another school I've flown with really discourages extra-curricular night flights, and two others I've flown with really don't mind at all.

 

I sense an article coming...

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I did around 40 hours of night during training. It was a mix of instrument training and night X-C to build time for commercial. It was a good experience, get all the night you can in training sometimes it's hard to get later on.

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How much night flight training did you receive while getting your private and commercial? How much night flight classroom instruction did you receive during the same time period? Do you feel it was adequate, or would you have been more comfortable with more of your hours flown at night. (Real night, dark and out of the pattern)

 

Got the minimums during PPL and CPL, which I thought was fine. Classroom instruction was about nil, and mostly self-study. That was fine too...I think it's practice that matters (but maybe I think that way because of inadequate instruction?)

 

During instrument, I flew as much at night as I could. Have about 50 hrs (out of 300TT) at night. Since most of it was out in the desert, yeah, it was "real" night.

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A lot of you guys seem to like doing your IR at night. How you make it through is beyond me! :huh: I just barely made it through flying in the daytime, with the doors off (so I could peek out peripherally)! :P

 

If I had to do it at night, I would have been blowing chunks all over the cockpit! :lol:

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That is the best way to do the instrument in my opinion. You hit two birds with the one stone. I used to take my students up at night as much as possible for their instrument.

I didn't do any night for my PPL in Ireland as there are restrictions about flying at night. I did what was necessary for the Commercial here and the night cross countries I did solo. The one I remember the most was flying up along the beach at 500 ft passing Patricks AFB in Florida with a C130 in the pattern. Those lights were crazy bright when that machine was pointed at me.

I also did a lot of night autos and full downs for part of my JAA flight instructor course! Crappy weather, raining and 35 knot winds at night in the pattern doing full downs, now that is fun. We were doing a constant attitude auto (40kt) and we had 5kt groundspeed!

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A lot of you guys seem to like doing your IR at night. How you make it through is beyond me! :huh: I just barely made it through flying in the daytime, with the doors off (so I could peek out peripherally)! :P

 

If I had to do it at night, I would have been blowing chunks all over the cockpit! :lol:

 

At least for me, the peripheral view was part of what made me queasy during the day. That and the heat and convective activity. Night time was cooler and not as busy ATC wise, it's a great time to do instrument training.

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I just barely made it through flying in the daytime, with the doors off (so I could peek out peripherally)! :P

 

Night was one of the few times where I really had to work to not be queasy and rely on the instruments. There was one spot on a localizer backcourse approach where, for some reason, the info I would get peripherally really screwed me up. The approach end was in a black hole with a few random lights, but it disoriented me and a number of other students. There were a few times where, at least for a moment, it took all my attention to keep right side up. Made me really appreciate how challenging IFR could be, not to mention how difficult IIMC might be.

 

Daytime...you get so much visual reference below you, that it never seemed to be much of a challenge.

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Get your night time while you can... It will make a big difference on your resume. Assuming many of you will be flight instructors and then head to the GOM. No real night time in the GOM from what I understand. You will also need it for the ATP. I managed to skip the GOM and got most of my night time through ENG work (early AM and late PM in the winter!)

 

I must confess... I fly NVG's so night is really no big deal... :D

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I second that: get as much night as you can while you can!

 

After my private I did nearly everything at night that didn't necessarily require daytime to accomplish. I just love night flying! B) During my IR I did as much as possible as a combination of XC/night/IR: as TransLift said you'll never get the three of them that cheap at the same time again. Great opportunity and a shame that I couldn't convince too many of my own students to do the same, especially since they had to fly 40hrs IFR under Part 61 anyway. Plus it gives you more of the real IFR-feeling (just that it's black outside instead of fluffy white).

 

At Bristow we went through a good bit of information before our first night flights. That included classroom and 1:1 ground about the differences in flight planning (day-night), emergencies, cheap insurances (flight plans, flight following,...), ressources, aero-med and the whole shebang, you name it. The TCO was nicely laid out to get people used to darkness and once we were comfortable we did a lot of pattern practice, autos, 180 autos, hover autos, etc. I definately felt comfortable and up to the game before I went on my first solo night - my first flight after receiving my PPL by the way.

 

While being CFI myself I always had a great time flying at night with my students. I liked to do a good 2-3hr ground session covering everything related to night flying before we went out. I took each of them out over a huge dark patch of nothingness to show spatial disorientation, false horizon, etc. Or distract them with map reading & planning exercises while secretly establishing a reciprocal of where they intended to go. Quite interesting to observe your student follow a road in the wrong direction for 5 minutes and watch them interpret things they see outside in a way that it matches with what they expect/want to see :huh:

 

The only times where I did not feel comfortable flying at night was in the remote wilderness of WV. No roads to follow, no lights, rugged terrain, forest as far as you can see and wires where you'd never expect them :unsure:

Edited by Hawkeye0001
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I made sure I had enough night throughout my training and instructing to meet the ATP requirements, so that when it came time to get that rating I would not have to purchase the hours.

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I only flew the minimums getting through training up to CPL but flew more night when I transitioned to R22's. I always wished I flew more at night through my training so when I became a CFI, I decided that I would get my students all the "multi purpose" time they wanted ie: night, x-country, etc. We had a lot of fun and it made teaching and learning more enjoyable for both I think. I figured that if I could make sure that my students had all the night/XC/more complex airspace/etc. training I could give them, it would make them better, more confident pilots when they needed to be. Since then I've spoken to many commercial pilots that were intimidated by flying into a class B or even C! In Alaska, I met pilots that had only the minimums needed for their certificates for night and hated the idea of flying at night! Yup, made sure my students never felt that way in any situation that I could present them with and I think it was really good for them. Of course it also put more night/xc in my logbook as well which was a nice bonus not to mention flying in SoCal on warm clear nights along the coast is always a blast.

 

Bottom line, get all the night you can. Be comfortable in it, flying in it, landing and making approaches in the dark...it's something to get used to, and in the end, your resume will thank you.

:)

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Combining IFR and XC and Night hours during the CPL training is a very effective way to train. I used to do the same thing.

 

There is a safety aspect to consider though. If you are over an unlit area in a machine with only basic equipment (2 x 100W landing lights and a few wobbly gyros), and something goes wrong, you are screwed. Chances of a successful emergency landing, even with power, are low to zero. Not to mention if you had an electrical failure, fire in the panel or the like. Lots of wires in those IFR trainers...

 

Over here in 'stralia, flying a single engine machine with no AP and no gyros at night would be suicide (as many mustering pilots have proven, unfortunately).

Flying even a gyro equipped piston trainer at night, anywhere other than over a city, is considered brave, and could be illegal.

Edited by lelebebbel
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My limited experience as a CFI, the regs don't require nearly enough night-specific training or experience. My last CFI seat, the school's official position was teach that nights are not a good idea...

 

Me, I love nights, an infatuation that started in Vietnam. One needs to be comfortable in techniques to minimize the limitations of the human eye, know how weather patterns vary at night compared to day, and be a firm believer in "The 10 Commandments of Night Flights":

1. Don't ever go where you can't see unless you're IFR proficient, equipped and prepared.

2. Know where the fuel and facilities are, definitely and confirmed, at night.

3. Keep a precautionary landing site in reach at all times.

4. Know a bit about sleep deprivation, inefficient sleep and circadian rhythms.

5. Don't ever go where you can't see unless you're IFR proficient, equipped and prepared.

6. Don't ever go where you can't see unless you're IFR proficient, equipped and prepared.

7. Don't ever go where you can't see unless you're IFR proficient, equipped and prepared.

8. Don't ever go where you can't see unless you're IFR proficient, equipped and prepared.

9. Don't ever go where you can't see unless you're IFR proficient, equipped and prepared.

10. Don't ever go where you can't see unless you're IFR proficient, equipped and prepared.

 

Disregarding any of those 10 is more dangerous than a night power failure/forced landing.

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1. Don't ever go where you can't see unless you're IFR proficient, equipped and prepared.

 

That should be on a placard, at the top of every dash, to include...never fly below the fog!

 

Sometimes I wonder if we should make Night an additional rating, like in other countries. :huh:

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