Thursday, January 20, 2022

Alone at Night

My student has progressed enough in his training to begin night flying. Therefore I needed to go out and update my night currency. It was a beautiful winter's evening in Florida with nearly a full moon. I got to the airport about an hour early so I could preflight in the daylight. The only discrepancy I had was dead batteries in my flashlight.

Even though I hadn't flown her in a while, Sally started easily and the numbers for the runup were all good. It was still too early to be counted as officially "night time" but I took the runway anyway. You can never have too much landing practice.

The first circuit ended with a "go around". I had given plenty of space to the guy in front but he lingered on the active runway too long for me to feel comfortable that he would be clear before I touched down. Well, that's good practice too and now it was officially "night".

As I turned crosswind I reported, "number two" behind a Cessna. Shortly after another plane called "number three" behind me on downwind. I watched "number one" on final and made sure to give him a little extra space for a full stop landing. I made my normal base leg position report and was surprised to hear "number three" call his base. Not good. 

Yes, I did let him know that he cut me off. Yes, I did go around again. I assume these were students getting some night experience. The rest of the night I had the pattern to myself.

Listen up, pay attention, be careful out there.

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