Jul 01 2008

First Night Flight and More Hood Time

Category: LessonsDaniel @ 6:19 pm

Yesterday I had my first taste of flying at night.  It was the coolest/freakiest flying I’ve done so far!  My CFI and I started the flight around dusk so I could also get in some more “hood time” and practice IFR flight in case I ever got stuck in the clouds (plus there’s that 3 hour simulated instrument requirement too).  After taking off from Westosha, I slapped on the visor and proceeded to putz around by the instruments for half and hour.  By that time, it was night and my CFI had me approaching Galt Airport (10C) in Wonder Lake, Illinois.  Re-adjusting after hood time takes me a little time to catch my bearings again, but now that I had to reorder myself at night was especially challenging.  I was surprised at how close everything seems at night, the lake (Lake Michigan) seemed only a few miles away (when in actuality it was more like 30).  My CFI said to run the landings “cookbook style” and I hit my usual checkpoints for power, pitch, and flaps for the base leg and final.  The runway snuck up on me pretty quick right at the end, but I was able to flare enough to make actually a quite soft landing.Night Flying

We worked the pattern at Galt 7 more times before heading back to Westosha.  Westosha is replacing it’s runway lights later this summer, and thank God for that!  Apparently some of the underground wiring is faulty and only 3 of the 14 runway works were operational.  Needless-to-say, it was crazy fun/hard to land really only seeing the 30 feet in front of my landing lights.  I managed though and got in 8 total landings at night.  I’ll finish the last 2 required landings during my dual night cross country soon.

Flying at night was definitely an experience, something very beautiful and peaceful about the whole thing.  I can’t wait for the cross country!  This lesson I logged 1.6 hours of total flight time, 0.5 with simulated instrument flight.

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One Response to “First Night Flight and More Hood Time”

  1. Todd says:

    You got the real deal night experience since the moon is close to a new moon. You will notice a big difference when flying with a nearly full moon. I enjoy the night flying. The only concern is it is much harder to find a safe landing spot if an emergency presents itself.

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