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elche

My Real life flight training cont... Night Flying!

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Well, since all we did was pattern work, I will skip most of the repetitive stuff. On a side note, my instructor told me to take my pre-solo written, and he said it's going to happen pretty soon! So I must be doing alright.So I got there about 4 and headed out to preflight the plane. The sun was pretty low so I knew this was going to be at least a dusk flight. He said maybe we'd do some ground reference stuff, but by the time we got out taxi clearance it was getting dark, and that would be no fun. It was calm out too, so that makes ground reference stuff kind of moot.So, we just did about 8 or 9 touch and gos, and the last 5 or so were pretty much in total darkness! Wow, it is calming and frightening at the same time. I found on my first one in total dark that I had trouble orienting myself on the base leg- I knew where we were, but I just couldn't make out the touchdown zone until we were almost lined up. I never realized how the runway lights are dim until you are lined up- that must be on purpose- it makes it hard to find the runway though. I did overshoot that first one by quite a bit, so the few I started the turn to final earlier than I thought and made a shallower turn so I wouldn't overshoot it again. My instructor warned me that most people instinctively tend to flare high at night since you have more trouble with depth perception, and don't want to flare too late and bounce off the nose gear! He was right of course, but quite frankly with 5600 feet of runway small mistakes like that get masked pretty easily. So then he decides I'm going to do a no flap landing. I've never done one. It's night. Probably not the best idea! So it's basically the same, but you will carry about 5-7 more knots. And the plane definately floats longer down the runway. The biggest struggle for me with this was that for some reason I found I got WAY below the G/S. So I think I have to try a few more of those, but I'll do it during the day, thanks.Tonight there was some really great traffic at good ole KHVN. A G5 (GIANT private jet- looked to be as big as a 737) came in. I heard him call the FBO and tell them they were arriving. He said they didn't need any services. I thought "Why is calling then?". Well, I look out and there are 3 line men out there to help this guy park! It's huge, and beautiful. Funny thing is that it parked before we departed, and was still parked when we came back in, but the engines had been running the whole time. The whole east ramp reeked of jet fuel- it was like perfume for an airplane nut. There was a really nice twin turbine corporate helicopter idleing on the tarmac too. It was dark, so I couldn't make out what it was. And there was a Beechjet getting ready to leave too. It was pretty sweet. I would have stayed at watched all the action longer, but I had to get home.So I am flying at the same time tomorrow, but maybe we can try the flaps up stuff first, and if the wind is a little stronger maybe do some ground reference stuff. I can't wait!

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Was any of the training legally at night (1 hour after sunset)?Night flight can be a lot of fun but really can get boring when you have to be up there for several hours going back and forth along a stretch of freeway!

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Congrats mate! sounds like everything is going really well for ya!Isn't flying at night simply amazing ?? Its so quiet and... well dark :( Did you notice how the engine seem to make more weird noises?? :DQuestion... Are you flying a high wing or low wing plane?

Have a great Day/Night wherever you are! :-wave

http://3dflite.com/dac/img/BANNER.gifPrivate Pilot - YSBKC152/Tomahawk/Warrior/Archer/Arrow/Duchess115.6 hrs TotalView my flying photos at http://www.3dflite.com/dac/pics/main.htm

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