Night VFR Poll

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by iamtheari, Feb 7, 2019.

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Do you fly night VFR?

  1. No

    34 vote(s)
    22.7%
  2. Only in an IFR-equipped plane (and I AM instrument rated)

    48 vote(s)
    32.0%
  3. Only in an IFR-equipped plane (and I am NOT instrument rated)

    42 vote(s)
    28.0%
  4. Only over brightly lit, populated areas

    11 vote(s)
    7.3%
  5. Yes, even over sparsely populated areas without an attitude or turn indicator

    15 vote(s)
    10.0%
  6. Yes, because I am the one person in the world whose plane has a parachute but no attitude indicator

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. No, even though I am the one person in the world whose plane has a parachute but not attitude indica

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    Tim
    I avoid flying at night for the same reasons I avoid driving at night. Here in the hill country of Texas we have deer that love to come out at night and play on the roads and runways. I still drive and fly at night if I don't have a convenient alternative but I avoid it if I can. I've done low approaches over the runway to check or chase the deer off but they are so stupid that by the time I've come around the pattern to land they've returned to the runway. The other night driving home I counted around 30 deer on or near the roads for the last 5 miles of my drive home. A day doesn't go by where I don't see deer carcasses on the road and most of them get hit at night.
     
  2. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    And if you ever do lose an engine, hitting a hill in the dark isn’t gonna be fun. There are plenty of places like that where a ‘chute actually does dramatically improve the survival options at night.
    I think instrument training AND proficiency is important for night flying, especially if there is any forecast for lower cloud development. I can think of several times in south Texas when a solid cloud layer formed underneath me while returning from a cross-country an hour or two before it was forecast to do so and it can totally sneak up on you and suddenly you are in technical IFR conditions.
     
    Witmo and Eric Stoltz like this.
  3. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Juliet Hotel
    Fly a smaller pattern.
     
    nrpetersen likes this.
  4. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    Tim
    During the day I fly a tight pattern. At night with fewer outside visual references, I limit my bank angles and do fly a bigger pattern. I'm quite aware of how easy it is to become disoriented when visual clues are lacking as I've had colleagues CFIT on tactical ranges at night and during hazy days over water with no good horizon. Night flying can be done safely if you're aware of the additional risks and you mitigate them. The first time you become disoriented in the final turn and bury the nose because you've lost the runway lights as they blink off and the moon goes behind a cloud may be the last.
     
    RyanShort1 likes this.