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Airplane Flying Handbook
Night Operations

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Airplane Flying Handbook


Table of Contents

Chapter 1,Introduction to Flight Training
Chapter 2,Ground Operations
Chapter 3,Basic Flight Maneuvers
Chapter 4, Slow Flight, Stalls, and Spins
Chapter 5, Takeoff and Departure Climbs
Chapter 6, Ground Reference Maneuvers
Chapter 7, Airport Traffic Patterns
Chapter 8, Approaches and Landings
Chapter 9, Performance Maneuvers
Chapter 10, Night Operations
Chapter 11,Transition to Complex Airplanes
Chapter 12, Transition to Multiengine Airplanes
Chapter 13,Transition to Tailwheel Airplanes
Chapter 14, Transition to Turbo-propeller Powered Airplanes
Chapter 15,Transition to Jet Powered Airplanes
Chapter 16,Emergency Procedures



During landings without the use of landing lights, the
roundout may be started when the runway lights at the
far end of the runway first appear to be rising higher
than the nose of the airplane. This demands a smooth
and very timely roundout, and requires that the pilot
feel for the runway surface using power and pitch
changes, as necessary, for the airplane to settle slowly
to the runway. Blackout landings should always be
included in night pilot training as an emergency


Perhaps the pilot's greatest concern about flying a single engine
airplane at night is the possibility of a complete
engine failure and the subsequent emergency landing.
This is a legitimate concern, even though continuing
flight into adverse weather and poor pilot judgment
account for most serious accidents.

If the engine fails at night, several important procedures
and considerations to keep in mind are:
• Maintain positive control of the airplane and
establish the best glide configuration and airspeed.
Turn the airplane towards an airport or away from
congested areas.
• Check to determine the cause of the engine
malfunction, such as the position of fuel selectors,
magneto switch, or primer. If possible, the
cause of the malfunction should be corrected
immediately and the engine restarted.

• Announce the emergency situation to Air Traffic
Control (ATC) or UNICOM. If already in radio
contact with a facility, do not change frequencies,
unless instructed to change.
• If the condition of the nearby terrain is known,
turn towards an unlighted portion of the area.
Plan an emergency approach to an unlighted
• Consider an emergency landing area close to
public access if possible. This may facilitate
rescue or help, if needed.
• Maintain orientation with the wind to avoid a
downwind landing.
• Complete the before landing checklist, and
check the landing lights for operation at altitude
and turn ON in sufficient time to illuminate the
terrain or obstacles along the flightpath. The
landing should be completed in the normal landing
attitude at the slowest possible airspeed. If
the landing lights are unusable and outside visual
references are not available, the airplane should
be held in level-landing attitude until the ground
is contacted.
• After landing, turn off all switches and evacuate
the airplane as quickly as possible.