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AndrejS

Landing KBLU in the middle of the night

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I'm having great time flying VFR from KSEZ to PAHO, but today i had a fatal experience (thank god it's just a game) when i tried multiple times to land the pitch black runway at KBLU (leg from KTVL to KBLU). It's only 40 nm but when flying through (black) nothing, only lit by stars, it can turn into struggle. Had to restart 3 times to in the end land with lots of luck (in rl landing like that would be considered a threat to the public transport). Since the runway isn't lit and there's almost no space to correct errors, i first tried to land from 9000ft but since there's no light on the airfield, had to quit. Then i wanted to follow the highway but was also unsuccessful, and then i managed to land god know how. Since i have many more night flights ahead, i'd like to get some advice how to do it properly. I know that night time and VFR flying don't go to together, but i'm not planing spending nights on bigger airports waiting for the sunrise. So what would be the best way to do a leg like this?

 

Thanks for your suggestoins


Win 7 Home (SP1), i7 2600@3.4, RAM 16gb, gtx970, ssd disks, DELL U2715H

P3d ver 4.5.12.30293, TrackIr v5, T16000M + TWCS

 

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So...Good thing it's a sim right. 

This leg and subsequent landing would be considered just shy of suicidal at night in real life.  VFR at night isn't a no go by any means, and is actually quite rewarding.  It does require a different awareness level and a different plan if things go wrong.  VFR flight in substantial terrain at night where there isn't the benefit of much ground lighting, and then landing at an unlit field in those conditions is insane even with TAWS on board.  You have zero options if things go awry.  Now if you're down on the valley floor with more lights, less terrain, lighted obstacles, etc., you'll be fine.  

There aren't (surprisingly) any regulations against landing on an unlit field at night.  Not the best idea, but it is legal.  Many fields do not permit night operations and KBLU is one of them.  If you look at the AFD, you'll note that the field is closed from sunset to sunrise.

If you had to do this leg again, I'd say wait until sunrise.  If waiting till sunrise isn't an option, choose a better destination (AUN, GOO, or even TRK) and get well above the terrain, not in between it.

Just my thoughts

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Well, to be honest, i'm not the kind of "by the book" guy, i'm relatively new (6 months) in flying, so this is the definition of adventure to me. Yea, i know there are some more convenient airports near by, but i'm only visiting airports that i have installed, so picking out of 30+ US GA airports isn't that easy. I'll be grounded for  the rest of the night (4 more hours) and then fly as far as i can before it's pitch dark again. Since i'm heading toward Alaska (some 2000+ nm to reach PAHO), i'll be spending some more nights sleeping in the cockpit. Thank god i fly a Commander 500s so there's plenty of space in it.

Now i'm off to S45, if i start around 4am, it'll be day before i land there. 


Win 7 Home (SP1), i7 2600@3.4, RAM 16gb, gtx970, ssd disks, DELL U2715H

P3d ver 4.5.12.30293, TrackIr v5, T16000M + TWCS

 

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9 hours ago, medx421 said:

If you look at the AFD, you'll note that the field is closed from sunset to sunrise.

Is that what it's still called?😀

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15 minutes ago, DJJose said:

Is that what it's still called?😀

Old habits.  Haha

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Hi...

A couple things about night flying:

In the RW many airports have "Pilot Controlled Lighting" which can be activated via multiple clicks on your CTAF freq for the airport. LOL - it's pretty cool to be flying into an airport at night - especially in rural areas with limited lighting - click the radio a few times and the whole airport lights up - just for you. Unfortunately - we don't have this in the sim - either the airport is lit or it is not.

When flying VFR at night - pay closer attention to highways and airports along your route of flight - as they would likely be the best alternatives in the event of an engine failure. Normal roads are not good but Interstates don't usually have wires which make them a better bet... I definitely plan differently at night - usually flying directly over airports as much as practical. 

Your sectional charts include an MEF - a maximum elevation figure - this is the max elevation of any objects in the respective quadrangle (grid) - so when planning for night flight - you want to pay close attention to this. It's pretty helpful to avoid CFIT.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_elevation_figure 

Most of the landing lights in the sim aren't that great - in the RW your landing light will illuminate the runway well before landing - in the sim - most don't seem to illuminate much.

When landing at night - your VASI/PAPI goes from a nice to have visual reference during the day - to an absolutely essential reference to avoid terrain.

Night VFR certainly adds more risk to the equation - but - if properly planned and executed - it can be done safely and is pretty rewarding. Most nights aren't so dark that you can't see anything - depending where your fly.

Regards,
Scott

 

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1 hour ago, scottb613 said:

Unfortunately - we don't have this in the sim

SODE has had this feature available for some time now.  I don't know if any developers that have used it yet though.  PCL isn't just for small airports either, even towered airports that don't operate full time use it after hours.

 https://sode.12bpilot.ch/?document=the-xml-definition-file/triggerablevisibility-radio-mike-controlled

 

 

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Brian W

KPAE, KRNT

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2 hours ago, scottb613 said:

Hi...

A couple things about night flying:

In the RW many airports have "Pilot Controlled Lighting" which can be activated via multiple clicks on your CTAF freq for the airport. LOL - it's pretty cool to be flying into an airport at night - especially in rural areas with limited lighting - click the radio a few times and the whole airport lights up - just for you. Unfortunately - we don't have this in the sim - either the airport is lit or it is not.

When flying VFR at night - pay closer attention to highways and airports along your route of flight - as they would likely be the best alternatives in the event of an engine failure. Normal roads are not good but Interstates don't usually have wires which make them a better bet... I definitely plan differently at night - usually flying directly over airports as much as practical. 

Your sectional charts include an MEF - a maximum elevation figure - this is the max elevation of any objects in the respective quadrangle (grid) - so when planning for night flight - you want to pay close attention to this. It's pretty helpful to avoid CFIT.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_elevation_figure 

Most of the landing lights in the sim aren't that great - in the RW your landing light will illuminate the runway well before landing - in the sim - most don't seem to illuminate much.

When landing at night - your VASI/PAPI goes from a nice to have visual reference during the day - to an absolutely essential reference to avoid terrain.

Night VFR certainly adds more risk to the equation - but - if properly planned and executed - it can be done safely and is pretty rewarding. Most nights aren't so dark that you can't see anything - depending where your fly.

Regards,
Scott

 

Nice advice!

 

Noticed your signature says you are a Beech guy. Is that real world? 

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Busdriver (Bill)

KPHL

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Posted (edited)

 

56 minutes ago, BrianW said:

SODE has had this feature available for some time now.  I don't know if any developers that have used it yet though.  PCL isn't just for small airports either, even towered airports that don't operate full time use it after hours.

 https://sode.12bpilot.ch/?document=the-xml-definition-file/triggerablevisibility-radio-mike-controlled

 

 

Hi Brian,

Thanks - new one on me - would you happen to know of any that use this - would like to take a look.

 

39 minutes ago, busdriver said:

Nice advice!

 

Noticed your signature says you are a Beech guy. Is that real world? 

Hi Bill,

Thanks - yep - just a weekend warrior though - I have a pix posted of my "pride and joy" (when she's not emptying my wallet) in my profile here - she's called something else when she is...

I'd say "congrats" for your new mod position - but - LOL - I think "thanks for your service" is more appropriate around here...

Regards,

Scott

Edited by scottb613

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34 minutes ago, scottb613 said:

I'd say "congrats" for your new mod position - but - LOL - I think "thanks for your service" is more appropriate around here...

Regards,

Scott

C'mon Scott - don't scare him away! We have good days too!

:biggrin:

Vic

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Lol, thanks Scott! I own a Bonanza, and totally get the empty wallet feeling. I put tip tanks on last year (gave me another 250lbs of useful load on top of the range) and it spent a month getting a new Avidyne panel earlier this year. 

Now I just need the FAA to extend mandatory retirement to age 70, and I'll be able to pay for all of it! 🙂

 

 

 

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Busdriver (Bill)

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3 hours ago, scottb613 said:

In the RW many airports have "Pilot Controlled Lighting" which can be activated via multiple clicks on your CTAF freq for the airport. LOL - it's pretty cool to be flying into an airport at night - especially in rural areas with limited lighting - click the radio a few times and the whole airport lights up - just for you. Unfortunately - we don't have this in the sim - either the airport is lit or it is not.

 

Also, before SODE Pilot Controlled Lighting (PCL), there was a scenery compiler called FSASM, which as I recall was made by Adam Szofran (now with LM I think).

Anyway, if I'm remembering correctly, FSASM allowed for PCL and that was 20 years ago in FS98 or around then.  Of course back then the lights looked bad compared to today.

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Rhett

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5 hours ago, scottb613 said:

Hi...

A couple things about night flying:

In the RW many airports have "Pilot Controlled Lighting" which can be activated via multiple clicks on your CTAF freq for the airport. LOL - it's pretty cool to be flying into an airport at night - especially in rural areas with limited lighting - click the radio a few times and the whole airport lights up - just for you. Unfortunately - we don't have this in the sim - either the airport is lit or it is not.

When flying VFR at night - pay closer attention to highways and airports along your route of flight - as they would likely be the best alternatives in the event of an engine failure. Normal roads are not good but Interstates don't usually have wires which make them a better bet... I definitely plan differently at night - usually flying directly over airports as much as practical. 

Your sectional charts include an MEF - a maximum elevation figure - this is the max elevation of any objects in the respective quadrangle (grid) - so when planning for night flight - you want to pay close attention to this. It's pretty helpful to avoid CFIT.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_elevation_figure 

Most of the landing lights in the sim aren't that great - in the RW your landing light will illuminate the runway well before landing - in the sim - most don't seem to illuminate much.

When landing at night - your VASI/PAPI goes from a nice to have visual reference during the day - to an absolutely essential reference to avoid terrain.

Night VFR certainly adds more risk to the equation - but - if properly planned and executed - it can be done safely and is pretty rewarding. Most nights aren't so dark that you can't see anything - depending where your fly.

Regards,
Scott

 

Thanks for the info, i'm so new here, i've never heard of MEF before. And yeah, PCL would be great (SODE or FSASM like) for me, since i mainly fly the GA airports.Just "night landed" at S45 (from KBLU), completely different experience, enough lights. 


Win 7 Home (SP1), i7 2600@3.4, RAM 16gb, gtx970, ssd disks, DELL U2715H

P3d ver 4.5.12.30293, TrackIr v5, T16000M + TWCS

 

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If that's ORBX KBLU, that package also installs 2O1 which is 40-odd nm north of KBLU, and it's open at night. Runway 25 has PAPI.

 

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That would help, i'll visit that one on my next trip to Canada, have to first buy & install the SimAddons  CA package. ¸¸¸¸


Win 7 Home (SP1), i7 2600@3.4, RAM 16gb, gtx970, ssd disks, DELL U2715H

P3d ver 4.5.12.30293, TrackIr v5, T16000M + TWCS

 

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