Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Night Lights

Night means the time between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, as published in the Air Almanac, converted to local time.
Air Almanac = 6:58pm local

...no person may act as pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers during the period beginning 1 hour after sunset and ending 1 hour before sunrise, unless within the preceding 90 days that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop during the period beginning 1 hour after sunset and ending 1 hour before sunrise...
Air Almanac = Sunset at 6:34pm local

How many clicks?
 I got out to the airport a little after 6:00pm local time. I wanted to do the preflight in daylight. I double checked my flashlight(s) and all of the aircraft lighting. Sally looked good. As we taxied to RWY 05 the sun was just setting. By the time the runup was complete we were passing the "End of Civil Twilight".

It was a beautiful night to fly. The traffic on I4 and I75 was still pretty heavy as people were rushing home after their work day. The lights from the city were coming on. I always think the runway environment at night is spectacular. Runway 05 was in use:
  1. Precision Approach Path Indicator
  2. Runway End Identifier Lights
  3. Night, or civil twilight?
  4. Medium Intensity Runway Lights
More information can be found here. FAA Aeronautical Charts 

With all of these lights it was easy to establish the runway environment on final. But the last landing of the night had a little extra challenge.  This is something I practice (occasionally) but I had no intention of doing it for this landing. The exciting part comes in the flare. No landing light. 

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