3 thoughts on “VFR At Night

  1. I received my PPL-SEL in the western US in the ’70s. At that time, it was mandatory to include both night flying and mountain flying in the curriculum, as well as full spin training. Great idea, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and went on to many happy, safe hours of nighttime mountain crossings – no traffic, often VU conditions, no turbulence, entirely safe – always having identified airstrips and highways within gliding range should anything occur.

    Having returned to Canada years ago, the idiocy of anything different became apparent. Here, one can get a PPL for flat land only(!). Extra and separate endorsement and training for both nighttime or mountain flying were required. Obvious outcome: many fatal crashes by pilots testing their envelope, often with buddies on board as the sun went down and/or the mountains lured them in for a looksee.

    The other major problem with Canada’s regulations? Unless recently changed, VFR-on-top is illegal, the subsequent result being VFR pilots scud-running over ridges hoping for a better outcome on the other side. Often not so. The fatality rate in Canada is several times that of the US, per mile flown, for these various reasons.

    To become at one with your aircraft, nothing is so stirring and satisfying as walking your craft down in a falling leaf descent. Which, or course, should you have a nighttime engine failure, allows you to meet the dark terrain at the lowest possible airspeed and rate of descent, under full control.

  2. I agree. I have flown at night with my instructor & if you do it by your self you are fulling your self. With that said night flying at night is very beautiful, but you can get in to a lot of
    trouble. With practice it is very doable.

  3. And yet, because my Abbotsford, B.C. flying school understood I would be flying out if a Canyon Gravel Mountain Strip, post training, I got Basic Training in Many actual “Off Airport”, & “Unimproved” Strips, and training in a Cessna 182, with a Canyon Flight in to my Home Strip, and an actual Over Mountain detour on the return leg, since I expected to buy in to a Local older model 182, when I finished!

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