Night Currency vs. Night Landings

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Greebo, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    Lunch, I'm interested in your question too. I find the language can be a bit confusing. Any experts care to clarify for us?
     
  2. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    First, you're allowed to log things in your logbook as you see fit. You're only required to log certain stuff under part 61.51.

    For pax privileges in the 1 hour past sunset to 1 hour before sunrise - you must perform the takeoffs and landings as required in 61.57(b). And you need to log them because 61.51 says so.

    So... if you want to log your night landings starting at the moment it's officially night... go ahead. Now, how are you going to differentiate between those and the ones you use for currency? As long as you can, go ahead!.

    Most of us only log a landing as "night" if it meets the currency requirement, and usually includes a night takeoff on the same flight. You DO log the night takeoffs somehow, right? I just reread the reg and noticed that there's no reference to a traffic pattern any more (though I'd swear there was at one time).

    Reality is that unless you fly a lot at night, you probably end up going out in the dark and making three circuits for currency, and that you can log as a "night currency flight, 3 t/o and ldgs to full stop"

    This was a pretty long post to say "do what you wish, it's your logbook". Just be sure that you can pull out what you need to show currency if something bad happens, and that you can do it in a way that doesn't set off the Inspector's BS-o-meter.
     
  3. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Tim,

    I think the night traffic pattern you are thinking of is for the night commercial solo requirements.

    I only log night landings if I can use them for currency. Night time I log as applicable, but don't wait for the 1hr after to log it.
     
  4. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I can't quite grasp what you're asking. I don't have a clue what you mean by "there is two separate hours..." As to logging night landings, generally the only purpose of doing so is to document compliance with night currency so if I were you I'd only log landings made between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise (i.e. when it's really dark).

    Perhaps you're asking about the multiple time boundaries of what we and the FAA refer to as "night". There's sunset to sunrise (FAA requires position lights), end of evening civil twilight to beginning of morning civil twilight (FAA allowed period for logging night flight time) and the time between sunset+1hr and sunrise-1hr (FAA period where night currency is required and can be obtained).

    Night currency applies from 1 hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise. Specifically that means you must be "night current" (not an official FAA term) to carry passengers during that time and to be night current you must have made three takeoffs and landings to full stop during that same time window (sunset+1hr to sunrise-1hr) within the last 90 days. Civil twilight has absolutely no bearing on acquiring or requiring night currency, the only thing it affects FAA wise is the logging of night flight time.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  5. skidoo

    skidoo Line Up and Wait

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    I assume a Full Moon will still count during that time? (Not really Dark?)
     
  6. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

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    Full moon night flying definitely counts as night time.

    -Skip
     
  7. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Per the FAA currency requirements, the moon (or stadium night lighting at the airport) doesn't matter. From a competency perspective, a full moon with clear sky doesn't provide the same challenges as a truly dark night. This is especially true for takeoff where you will suddenly find yourself on instruments the moment you pitch up and leave the ground if there isn't much in the way of lights on the ground.
     
  8. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    Um... when must position lights (nav lights) be displayed?
     
  9. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Oops, you're right, I'll fix the earlier post. That's sunset to sunrise so I guess the FAA has dibs on all three definitions. Strangely the requirement for strobes is attached to "night flight" so they aren't required until later (end of evening civil twilight).
     
  10. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    Based on what Tim said above, it makes sense to only log the night landings as night landing if the takeoff was at night. Night flight hours seems pretty much irrelevant after Private.
     
  11. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Last time I checked there were night flight requirements for the commercial rating. But I do agree that at some point, differentiating between day and night flight (or even IMC vs VMC) serves no purpose WRT currency or other FAA requirements.

    As to the logging of night landings, you are technically required to log night takeoffs as well but for some reason most commercially available logbooks don't make any provision for this. And while a night landing combined with a non-night takeoff is far more common than the reverse, night takeoffs without a night landing are possible (I have several such flights). Either you take off early in the morning on a flight that ends later than sunrise+1hr or you weren't the sole manipulator on the landing for some reason.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  12. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    I know that for some job applications and corresponding insurance questionnaires they ask for total night time, or total time in actual, but I haven't found one for night landings yet.

    They do ask for night time, and night takeoffs and landings (total and as PIC) on the 8710 form... so if you wanted to bounce THOSE numbers up you could start logging the landings as soon as "night" occurs.

    I wish that they'd just define night time as sunset to sunrise for lights and logging time, and leave the +1 hour for pax requirements alone. I understand why they want those takeoffs and landings to be in the dark.
     
  13. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There are actually several different night flight-hour requirements past Private:

    * Category II and III authorization (61.67 and 61.68)
    * Commercial pilot certificate (61.129)
    * ATP certificate (61.159)
    * Part 135 VFR/IFR PIC (135.243)

    And, I'm guessing part 121 probably has some sort of requirement too but I've never read it.
     
  14. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    ??? What 1hr requirement?
     
  15. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    1 hour after yada to 1 hour before, yada yada yada.
     
  16. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    Ok...duh
     
  17. odachoo

    odachoo Filing Flight Plan

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  18. snoboy

    snoboy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So if I want to get night current and sunset is 9:11pm then I need to wait until 10:12 to launch correct?
     
  19. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Correct.
     
  20. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    No. You can launch whenever you like.

    Then you could fly until 2AM if your tanks are big enough.

    Then do three takeoffs and landings to a full-stop.

    :)

    Or take off at an airport west of a time zone border, go do three takeoffs and landings to a full stop across the zone border at another airport, and fly back.

    :) :) :)

    The regulation does not care what time you launch. Not does it say you must remain at the same airport you launched from.

    ;)
     
  21. acrophile

    acrophile Line Up and Wait

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    I just noticed that the above misinformation from eight years ago has never been corrected in this newly-revived thread.

    Other matters affected by FAA-defined "night" (civil-twilight-bounded) include VFR weather minimums, fuel reserves, and required equipment.
     
  22. snoboy

    snoboy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Got it.. my point basically is that if I'm going to go out and do 3 laps in the pattern to get my night proficiency I need to start the process one full hour after sunset. For example (using my 9:11 sunset time) let's say I go out on a Friday night to get proficient so I can take friends out to dinner the next night. I take off at 9:55, I make my first full stop landing at 10:05 then another at 10:19 and another at 10:32, taxi back, park the airplane and go home thinking I'm all good. I just screwed the pooch because LEGALLY I'm not current to take my friends out flying the next night as planned because I've only got 2 landings under my belt. I would need to wait until 10:12 and go do one more full stop landing to be current... Agreed? Or use 10:11 as the legal time. My conscience typically makes me choose 10:12.
     
  23. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I log all my night landings by Zulu date/time to get me one extra day of currency. :D
     
  24. acrophile

    acrophile Line Up and Wait

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    Well, it's about currency, not proficiency per se. You might be proficient even without the required takeoffs and landings, or you might do the required takeoffs and landings and still not be proficient.

    Even if the first full stop landing had been at 10:12 rather than 10:05, you still wouldn't be current because although you'd have three qualifying landings, you'd have only two qualifying takeoffs.
     
  25. acrophile

    acrophile Line Up and Wait

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    I like that! Does the FAA approve? I guess maybe it's a standard thing to do--it certainly makes sense for pilots who cross time zones frequently.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  26. snoboy

    snoboy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yep Yep
    * Currency vs proficiency... check
    * 3 takeoffs AND 3 landings......check
     
  27. garyb

    garyb Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It was a trick question. His wife is a CFI and he just wanted to see if he could get you riled up, and well ... :sigh:
     
  28. acrophile

    acrophile Line Up and Wait

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    At first, I was confused because your post says it's in reply to Snoboy just now. But you're actually commenting on the question in this thread's initial post back in 2005 (which refers to the OP's wife), correct?
     
  29. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    True that. As originally stated Snoboy would have 1 take off and 2 landings at night. Remember, the requirement is 3 takeoffs and 3 landings to a full stop at night (>1 hour after sunset and >1 hour before sunrise). I have a similar problem staying night current in the summer around here. Around June 21 sunset is shortly after 9 pm. I typically just don't worry about it in the summer, I'm not going to be flying that late in the evening. But, if plans change, it will be a late evening flying to get current.
     
  30. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I love Summer night flying. Midnight is fine weather most nights and it's nice and cool.
     
  31. rmlewisjr

    rmlewisjr Pre-Flight

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    I would say that you ciould try that at W75 but the approach is NA at night.
     
  32. DavisPhotog

    DavisPhotog Filing Flight Plan

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    Another case of "holy thread resurrection!"

    On November 24 I am flying from 3-5 p.m. Sunset at 4:53 p.m, so I'm good to carry passengers until 5:53 p.m.

    You can log night flying and night landings starting at the end of civil twilight, which is 5:21 p.m. So, in theory, for night flying, I can carry passengers while logging night flying time from 5:21 until 5:53 p.m., correct?

    I realize those night landings won't be good for anything currency-wise, so I just want to verify that I can log about 0.5 night flying while still having pax aboard.
     
  33. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Good so far.

    Not so good. 61.57(b) says "night" or the purpose of landing currency with passengers means one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise. So, while you may be logging night time from 5:21 pm until 5:53 pm, the landings don't count for 61.57(b) night landing currency or passengers. While it's not clear whether you can put such landings in your logbook as "night" landings, if you do, you'd need to find a way to differentiate between those "night" landings and those which count for 61.57(b) currency. In the interest of avoidance of confusion, I'd suggest logging as "night" landings only those made between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

    Correct.

    You can. I'd just suggest not logging the landing at or prior to 5:53 pm as a "night' landing lest you later forget that it didn't count towards 61.57(b) currency.
     
  34. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    So how many log the exact time they t.o. and the exact time they land? I just log "N/t.o. and N/Lnd in the remarks and if asked, it was at least 1 hr after sunset.
     
  35. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan Pattern Altitude

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    I thought that if it was after the official civil twilight time, it was a legal night landing. Of course waiting one hour would put you past that time for sure. If I am wrong, I have some incorrect night landings in my log book.
     
  36. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    It's night time, but since the only regulation regarding night landings once you get your license requires they be over one hour after sunset, it doesn't seem to me that there's much point in confusing the situation by logging landings in the period from evening civil twilight to one hour after sunset as "night landings". They have no significant value and will only confuse you as to your currency to carry passengers after one hour after sunset. See 14 CFR 61.57(b) for details.
     
  37. MikeELP

    MikeELP Pattern Altitude

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    Maybe you're just too easily confused. I see no problem with legally logging the landings after civil twilight as night landings and making a notation for those after the 1 hour + from sunset for passenger currency.

    I've had 17 year old students that understood it and that's how they log it.

    Must be really complicated.

    :D

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  38. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

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    How to tell if it is night? Look out the window. If its dark out, it is night.
     
  39. ja_user

    ja_user Cleared for Takeoff

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    Night Lights,
    Night Logging
    Or night currency??


    This is all most people need to know...

    3 different times, 3 different reasons..
     
  40. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I always got a kick out of the fact that sunset is supposedly when the sun is "below the horizon", but none of the official sunset times for Denver count the many degrees up the mountain skyline to the West is.

    By the time the 90.833 degrees to the geometric center zenith distance from a flat plane to the Sun is reached for "sunset", or the 96 degrees to the zenith center distance angle is reached for "civil twilight", around here, you've been needing a flashlight to not stub your toe for quite a while.

    But the book says use those times. So you do.

    It's plenty f'n dark before civil twilight is over with, around here.

    Already tired of it too. Glad only a few more days of it getting earlier are left.

    Then we can start heading back to it not being dark before I leave work.

    Sunset at 16:36 (which really happened before that time, thanks to the mountains...) is annoying.

    Of course sunrise at 04:31 in mid-June is equally as annoying. Stupid Daylight Savings...