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Found 62 results

  1. Night Environment Sweden has been announced by Aerosoft http://forum.aerosoft.com/index.php?showtopic=84735
  2. Chris Bell

    Night Environment - Alps Released!

    Night Environment Alps announced today by Aerosoft the new region spawns across Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland http://forum.aerosoft.com/index.php?showtopic=83745
  3. Night Environment vs. Real Life Night shoots One of our team members got back from his vacation in Corsica Island real life night shoots compared side by side to Night Environment representation for the same area I thought it who’d be fun to share Enjoy Ajaccio, real life Ajaccio FSX Coti-Chiavari, real life Coti-Chiavari, FSX (A is the point which my real pic was shot from; D is the aiming direction) "I'm pleased to see how our work is a rather acceptable representation of the reality."
  4. Aerosoft Night Environment Portugal announced!!! http://forum.aerosoft.com/index.php?/topic/89209-night-environment-portugal-preview/
  5. I thought I’d post few preview shoots from our upcoming Black Marble project, we bring you all new, accurate, and most recent, worldwide navigation level road network data, rendered into Sim native architecture, worldwide coverage of fresh and up to date road network (including traffic), accompanied with our new and most advanced lighting system we recently developed, (more info, pics and general discussion http://forums.nightenvironment.com/topic/207-black-marble) without further ado... let it be light :smile: New York City Miami (KMIA) Los Angeles (KLAX) Paris (LFPG) London (EGLL) Frankfurt (EDDF) Shenzhen Hong-Kong (Kai-Tak) Melbourne Los Angeles area top view
  6. Aerosoft Night Environment California v1.7 Released!!! http://forums.nightenvironment.com/blogs/entry/6-night-environment-california-v17-released/
  7. 737 Night Approach and Landing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gTQvmeNr98
  8. Chris Bell

    Blue Marble

    The Blue Marble Project Meet The Blue Marble, yes we have another marble in our collection Blue Marble is not a new name for Black Marble, It's a Project on its own merits! Not to be confused with Night Environment, Black Marble, or vEarth (Virtual Earth) projects, More detail about Blue Marble Project can be found here http://forums.nightenvironment.com/topic/289-blue-marble/?page=1 The video below showcase the projects from a worldwide prospective (best viewed in full screen at 1080HD!), Freeze frame the first second and you will see the old data visible for one second (including FPS etc.); Right after (in video editing) we blend from the same position only this time from within Blue Marble, Watch closely the following 20 seconds as we time lap through 12 month worldwide seasonal cycle, Before we start spinning the globe to show you Blue Marble in all its glory all around the world, and then right before when you think it’s over… wait for it! Enjoy one more thing… be sure to register as a member of our forums by Christmas to be eligible for our special Christmas gift! with opening our new online shop we will invite all our registered forums members by Christmas to get their Christmas gift! A copy of Blue Marble free of charge The Blue Marble Blue Marble is made out of real worldwide seasonal coordinated high res Photoreal imagery!!! (Blue Marble Seamlessly integrates and is Compatible with all 3rd party add on's like FTX Global and all other regions, UTX etc.)
  9. Flight Simulation and Optimizing Night Time Flights Generally speaking out of the box fresh sim install is mainly geared towards day time flights; With very little regards to night flying, Setting up for a proper day time flight requires allot of attention to detail; from setting up controls, weather conditions, scenery complexity, vehicle, and visual add-on’s This process could take one few months to get comfortable with his environment settings and gear, it’s a tedious task many of us take to extreme (to say the least!), your day time flight environment is balanced perfectly for the day; at the same time is also consuming the same resources at night; not leaving much room for night time add-on’s, There is a misconception that when night falls its dark anyway; what’s there to see? Optimize…? What’s there to tweak different then day time when you barely see anything? The last statement is the general concept most have when it comes to night flights; bear in mind that up to not long ago, night flying didn’t really exists to the extent it’s been developed in the past several years, the original developer never envisioned such transformation that it never was an area of much interest; but recent developments allow us now to fully have VFR night flights; while looking out the window at real world vector data, before we continue deeper into this article; remember the first few sentences I started with; the sim's night environment deserves now as much attention as day time does to fully enjoy todays night add-on’s, many day time element are not visible at night, to redirect resources; some settings can be adjusted towards an optimized environment for night flights, if we start by going through the settings in FSX/SE/P3D configuration tabs; let’s have a look at Weather Tab, consider that a normal human eyes can perceive natural lights in the real world (depending on conditions and alt) 60-100 miles away in optimal conditions, adding clouds at night beyond the minimum slider potion is pointless at night; as well as drawing high detail clouds; and every other related daytime eye candy, moving to the Scenery tab, Mesh complexity and Mesh Resolution both can be significantly reduced, you will not see the added vertices drawn at night or a fine mountain contours and subtleties, A mesh complexity of 30 with mesh resolution of 76-38 should be more than sufficient for night flight, Texture resolution… at night? Do I need to extend on this one? Same goes for Water Effect, These are not visible at night; there is no need to extend resourced for these features at night, Scenery Complexity and Autogen Density shouldn’t exceed Normal for night fight, In Aircraft Tab, Shadows aren’t really visible at night; it is recommended to turn shadows off, but to each his own, In Graphics Tab I personally like the visuals at night with antialiasing switched off These are just few very basic guidelines for optimizing your night time flights The goal behind this is to free resources that aren’t used during night; you can dig more and find many creative way to conserve resources at night, Many third party add-ons can also have their day time settings optimized for night; using the same logic, Believe it or not, your unused aircraft adds up to the global VAS usage regardless of day or night, I keep my unused aircraft in a folder I make called “hangar” with the same structure that’s inside SIM\SimObjects\ ; I keep this folder under SimObjects folder, this where 99% of my aircrafts are in (including default), If you only fly in a predefined area like US, or UK etc… There is no need to load the whole world every time you go for a local flights! The last two advisories will decrease your sim load times significantly; as well as reduce your initial VAS consumption in general! Before we go into more technical detail; no one is expecting you to manually go through each and every one of these setting each time you go for a flight, Yet… It is unreasonable to assume that with today’s add-on’s our sim’s should work regardless what we install in it; we have HD textures, as well as HD Photoreal, and HD mesh and so much more than what initially thought of, one must remember that we are still bound to 3.6GB usable VAS memory space allowed by x86 (32bit) application platform; the name of the game here is balance; you have to balance your memory consumption to accommodate everything you want in your current flight, This is the time to mention SimStarter By Developer - Peter Rosendhal. http://aviation.pero-online.de/ i highly recommend using SimStarter to create various startup profiles; to speed up your fsx load times; and general performance tweaks; you can create many profiles that launch you right into your preconfigured flight without wasting time; you can customize all the above settings and much more from a single GUI interface; you will have complete control over all of Sim’s elements; , scenery.cfg, fsx/se/p3d.cfg as well as many third party add-on’s settings, save your setting to a profile on your desktop, and with one click; SimStarter will put you on the runway with all the preconfigured environmental settings you selected for that profile, SimStarter is a free and can be found here – http://aviation.pero-online.de/wordpress/?page_id=105 ; there are many tutorials on how to configure SimStarter to hook into third party add-on’s; please don’t forget donate to help Peter continue his development on this magnificent irreplaceable tool! Note that these guidelines should be used for day time flight as well as night time flight to maximize your Sim potential and VAS pool, if there’s something I neglected to mentioned please feel free to discuss; this is an open discussion about this topic; Looking forward to hearing some feedback from you guys, Happy Flying
  10. Night Environment Benelux v1.71 Released! Night Environment Benelux, our first region and the one that started it all is finally getting a face lift from Aerosoft, this is a complete new version that includes our latest Textures and Quad installer; with support for Prepar3D v3.x, the new release is coupled with our v1.7x series standards; including... Read more here
  11. Aerosoft Night Environment - Finland Released!!! http://www.nightenvironment.com/finland.html http://forum.aerosoft.com/index.php?/topic/87413-night-environment-finland-released/ this completes the Scandinavian region for us
  12. Time Lapse Bordeaux - Night Environment V2
  13. Night Environment France was recently a very nice and detailed review of Night Environment France over at Mutleys Hangar; by John Guest, They conclude: "The Night Environment range of scenery add-ons provides an improved nocturnal lighting model for those who like to fly at night. Night Environment France attempts to take the range up another gear." full review here.
  14. I thought I’d show once and for all a proper Night Environment Demonstration shown over photoreal made with FSEarthTiles (no night textures came with the photoreal) Night Environment Nightmap is active (Base + Level 0 + Level 3) all sliders to the right! No cuts, No edits, straight out the simulator! Enjoy Must watch in 1080HD!!! having WMG trouble with this YouTube video? watch this on DailyMotion with even smoother HD Quality www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x1wksoc
  15. long awaited P3D support is officially restored for Night Environment with P3D v2.3 i haven’t tested in person; but from what I’ve gathered so far talking with LM engineers they made it work even better under P3D than FSX; and will continue to enhance Night Environment under P3Dw with future releases http://forum.aerosoft.com/index.php?/topic/82743-night-environment-soon-compatible-with-predar3d/
  16. Night Environment Greece Released! http://forum.aerosoft.com/index.php?/topic/82288-night-environment-greece/
  17. CB_Pilot

    Where is the NE Scenery Layer?

    May I ask for some help and guidance please with my newly purchased Night Environment British Isles v1.71 for FSX:SE? I installed NE, setup the default preset in Configuration Manager v1.2, launched FSX:SE and I'm not at all sure that I see NE effects appearing. I also run ORBX FTX Global, Vector, Land Class and the ORBX scenery packs for Scotland, Wales, etc. I've read some forum contributions which talk about NE insertion points in the scenery files but I can't see any entry for NE in my scenery files in either the FSX:SE configuration screen or in FTX Central 2 Tools. Is anyone able to advise what I'm doing wrong please? Or have I completely misunderstood how to set up NE? For information - the BGL files are all in C:\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\aerosoft\Night Environment - British-Isles\Scenery but when I try to add the scenery manually in FSX:SE it tells me that no items match my search - and that's after following an AVSIM video on how to add manual scenery entries. Thanks in anticipation, Rupert
  18. as the title states Aerosoft decided to let the community select the next Night Environment region more info and pole voting here http://forum.aerosoft.com/index.php?showtopic=81856
  19. Aerosoft Night Environment Florida v1.7 has just been Released! this release is the first to include our new v1.7 architecture designed for NE.X.Manager Product page http://www.nightenvironment.com/florida.html announcement http://forum.aerosoft.com/index.php?/topic/95283-night-environment-florida-released/ here are few shoots to start your appetite (shown with Jo Erlend Daytona-Beach)
  20. Save 30% on all existing Aerosoft Night Environment product line!!! Our entire product line for Night Environment v1.x is about to get a face lift with a brand NEW v1.7 the new 1.7 version will include new enhancements and our new NE.X.Manager! thanks to v1.7 redesigned architecture and NEXM; further enhancements can be delivered to enrich night flying, the new v1.7 and up line will also cost roughly 30% higher than current pricing, the good news are; if you pick up your preferred region now, the new v1.7 line will be a free upgrade for existing customers.
  21. NIght Environment Germany has been updated to v1.7; the update include a brand new Architecture and NEXM Support
  22. to keep everyone on their toes, here’s a curve ball, NE Florida http://forum.aerosoft.com/index.php?showtopic=84157 Welcome to Miami (mixed images from P3D v2.3 & FSX)
  23. OK Let’s have some fun, here’s a little Quiz for everyone Identify the Airport in the picture (ICAO name) Doing this will expose Night Environment’s next regional project Whoever uncovers the airport location first; gets a free copy of this upcoming NE region release To participate; make a single post that includes only the airport ICAO, This will be your official entry! pls, guys… we use the honor system; no edits! multiple entries are acceptable; but only your last entry counts as your final vote! If the correct location has been identified; the location and the winner will be announced next Sunday you must make your vote on this thread to participate http://forum.aerosoft.com/index.php?showtopic=80078 Good luck to all
  24. Night Flying Spectacular, safe with proper knowledge, training, and judgment By Robert N. Rossier You sit in the darkness at the end of the runway and carefully check the instruments and gauges in the soft glow of the cockpit lights. Ahead, two rows of runway lights lead into the star-studded sky. Pondering your departure, you wonder what's really waiting for you in the darkness. Virtually every aspect of flying at night is different from the clear light of day. The aircraft is more difficult to inspect. The cockpit takes on an air of unfamiliarity as it fades in the dim red glow of the panel lights. Weather becomes more important, as does flight planning and attention to cockpit organization. Engines that run smoothly by day mysteriously run rough in the dark, and nightmarish thoughts of forced landings emerge from the dark recesses of your mind. Still, the magic of cruising beneath starry skies and above the brilliant glitter of city lights more than overcomes the anxiety of flying at night. Pilots in many countries must have an instrument rating to fly at night. Many pilots believe this is a good idea because flying at night can be as close to instrument flying as you can get in visual conditions. And the potential for unwittingly flying from visual to instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) is at its greatest. Your best defense, the best strategy, is to combine skill and judgment with an in-depth knowledge of night flying. Each step in the process of a night flight requires special knowledge and close attention to detail. Flight planning Planning a night cross-country flight requires special attention to many details that may escape your scrutiny when planning a daylight flight. The landmarks that will guide you to your destination look different at night. Many familiar features will be hidden beneath the veil of darkness, and new landscapes take their place. Lakes, rivers, railroads, and fields fade into blackness, while cities appear as crystalline mazes of lights. Lighted towers, difficult to see by day, suddenly come to life against the night sky. While many roads may be invisible, streetlights and traffic may illuminate interstates and other highways. Airports that were difficult to find during the day may mark their location with bright, flashing green-and-white beacons. Though you navigate by pilotage during the day, you may want to rethink your strategy at night. Because the terrain can look unfamiliar and desolate at night, it's easy to find yourself off course (or, at least, beginning to question your true position). To avoid this, back up your pilotage with radio navigation. Select the VORs or NDBs (nondirectional beacons) that will guide you to your destination. Terrain clearance is another nighttime concern; like low clouds, darkness can easily obscure high terrain. To ensure adequate clearance along your route, note the Maximum Elevation Figures (MEFs) printed in each quadrant of your sectional chart. Then add at least 1,000-2,000 feet to the highest MEF figure and use the sum as your minimum en route flight altitude. Since it's difficult to read the fine print on a sectional in a darkened cockpit, record the appropriate communication and navigation frequencies, along with any other pertinent flight information, on your navigation log. Don't use a fine-point pencil because it may be difficult to read. Opt instead for dark ink and large print. Don't use a highlighter on your chart. Depending on the color, in the cockpit's red light it may appear as a solid black line through which nothing can be read. Finally, study your route carefully and be familiar with landmarks, navigation aids, and your destination airport. Commit as much information as possible to memory, and make sure it's all down on your navigation log. Even though Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 91.151 only requires a 45-minute fuel reserve for night flights under visual flight rules (VFR), headwinds, navigation errors, and unexpected weather can deplete reserve fuel at a frightening pace. Prudent pilots pad their fuel reserve with at least twice the minimum required. Night weather The only real difference between day weather and night weather is that you cannot see night weather. For this reason, it's extremely easy to unintentionally fly into weather you wouldn't get near during the day. To avoid this problem, always get a thorough and detailed weather briefing. As you digest the briefing, remember the variability you've seen in daytime weather. Clouds that were forecast for 5,000 feet magically appear at 2,000 feet. Unless you're instrument rated, equipped, and current, you might consider canceling a long night cross-country flight unless the forecast calls for clear weather, and you can look outside and see the stars. Even then, you might get a surprise. The weather briefing a friend and I received for a night flight from Denver to Santa Fe, N.M., promised clear skies and light winds for the entire route. In spite of the outstanding prognosis, our route crossed some high mountains, so we filed under instrument flight rules (IFR). In hindsight, filing IFR was a wise decision. Ten minutes after takeoff, we were flying through blinding snow showers. Fortunately, it was so cold that ice didn't form, and we shortly emerged into clear conditions again. But if we hadn't been prepared for the unexpected, the flight would have been much more stressful than it was. Preflight The first rule for a night preflight inspection is to do it during the day whenever possible. Many problems are more difficult to spot at night, and a flashlight does not replace the sun. This does not mean you can bypass a final check before departure, but a daylight preflight will give you added peace of mind. One item essential to your night preflight is to check all aircraft lights—taxi and landing lights, rotating beacon and anti-collision lights, position lights, cockpit lights, and flashlights. They should all work. Since electrical power is of the essence, be sure to check the alternator belt for obvious defects and proper tension. Checking for fuel contamination is especially difficult at night. One technique is to hold the fuel sampler against a white background and shine a light from the side to verify proper grade and purity. While preflighting the aircraft is crucial, don't forget the importance of preflighting yourself. Night flying can be demanding, especially when things start to go awry. So be conservative and remember that some unique medical factors come into play at night. The most important concerns your vision. Your eye (retina) has two types of receptors. Cones provide clear, focused vision in well-lighted conditions. Rods, while they don't see as clearly, adapt more readily to low-light conditions. It can takes 30 minutes or more for your eyes to adapt to low light, but 20 minutes in dim red cockpit lighting will provide a moderate degree of adaptation. Once your eyes have adapted, if you look at white lights, the adaptation process must start again. At brightly lighted airports, you cannot avoid this exposure, so remember that your night vision may be impaired for some time after takeoff. Altitude also degrades your night vision because the eyes' demand for oxygen increases as the light dims. And if you smoke or have inhaled carbon monoxide, your vision will be even thinner. For this reason, some experts recommend the use of oxygen for night flights above 5,000 feet. Another night flight medical consideration concerns your biological clock, or circadian rhythm. Regardless of other factors, circadian rhythms tell us to sleep when the sun goes down. They slow your mental functions, which means you tend to be more complacent—not something to be during a night flight. Flying with a passenger or another pilot, or frequent contact with air traffic control (ATC), Flight Service, or Flight Watch can help keep your brain engaged during the flight. Cockpit organization Cockpit organization is important for daytime flights; it is doubly important at night. Have a flashlight or two with fresh (and spare) batteries within immediate reach. You never know when the lights may go out. Charts should be carefully organized and stowed within easy reach. Above all, be familiar with the cockpit layout, including the location of all controls, instruments, and cockpit lighting. Finally, before starting the engine, turn on the anti-collision beacon to warn others that you're about to start the engine. Ground operations Ground operations are more difficult at night, especially at an unfamiliar airport. Study the airport diagram to avoid confusion and become familiar with the taxiway layout and designations. Then ask ground control for progressive taxi instructions. The controller will lead you step by step from where you are to where you want to go. The object of this is to keep you from going where you don't want to (or are not supposed to) be, like on an active runway. Although a landing or taxi light makes it easier to find your way around the airport, there are times when these lights should be turned off. When waiting at the hold line at an active runway, turn off your landing and taxi lights so they won't blind or distract a landing pilot. You should also turn them off when on a taxiway that parallels the active runway. As a courtesy to other pilots, don't turn on your strobes until you're on the runway. Flashing strobes can temporarily blind a pilot or cause vertigo in a pilot on approach. Departures Night departures, regardless of conditions, should be considered instrument flight—even by VFR pilots. There are just too many illusions and problems that can arise to foul up your visual senses. The false horizon illusion is but one example. A string of lights across the canvas of night can appear as a horizon. Rolling your wings level to such an illusion can place the aircraft in a steep bank. At low altitude and with little time to sort out the true picture, this can be a real killer. Another problem can come from sparse lighting on the ground, which can create the illusion of a star-studded sky. Again, a pilot relying solely on visual references may place the aircraft in an unusual attitude trying to sort out the picture. With these points in mind, plan and fly your departure like an instrument departure. As you approach the end of the runway in the initial climb, transition your scan from the outside environment to the instruments and keep the aircraft climbing straight on course until you've reached a safe altitude of a thousand feet or more. But before you attempt this, spend some time flying at night with your flight instructor. En route operations Some aspects of flying, such as finding an airport, can be easier at night than during the day. But many tasks are much more difficult. Reading sectional charts is a good example. This often requires a white light, particularly if you need to discern the colors on the chart. If you must turn on the cockpit lights, try closing one eye to retain dark adaptation. Thanks to aircraft lighting systems, see-and-avoid collision avoidance is often easier at night. But there are illusions that can play havoc with your see-and-avoid scan. Autokinesis is one such illusion. If you stare at a stationary light against a dark background, it will appear to move in time. If, for example, you stare at a bright star, your mind may think it's moving, and thereby take it to be another airplane. To avoid autokinesis, don't stare at lights. Staying busy is the best way to fight the complacency commanded by your circadian rhythms. Start by requesting flight following after you take off. Not only does this give you someone to talk to (but you shouldn't chat for conversation's sake), it gives you another set of eyes looking for traffic and a ready source of help if things go awry. Another essential and productive task is to get updated weather information from Flight Watch, a Flight Service Station, and recorded sources such as AWOS (Automated Weather Observing System), ASOS (Automated Surface Observing System), and HIWAS (Hazardous In-Flight Weather Advisory Service). The frequencies for these services are listed in the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD), and you should write them on your navigation log. Don't forget to keep your own eyes open for changing weather conditions. Changes in the weather can be difficult to detect at night, and they can sneak up and take you by surprise. If you start to lose sight of the stars, you may be flying under or into the clouds. If ground lights begin to look hazy, you may be flying into a layer of clouds or fog. Even though the visibility appears fine, you may be flying through precipitation. Sparkles illuminated by your strobes indicate precipitation such as rain or snow showers. Remember that landing lights and strobes can cause vertigo when flying in clouds and precipitation, so don't hesitate to turn them off. All of these phenomena are good indications that you should find the nearest airport and land. If you are not instrument rated, not only are you getting in over your VFR head, but precipitation at night often signals the development of more serious weather, such as rain-induced fog. If it is cold, precipitation may cause airframe icing. Arrivals While some motels will keep a light on for you at night, if you are flying to an airport without a tower, or arrive after the tower closes, chances are you will have to order the lights to brilliance. Airports with pilot-controlled lighting are identified in the A/FD and commercial references. Determining what kind of lighting system your destination has, and how you activate it, is a critical part of your preflight planning. Most pilot-controlled lighting is activated by clicking the microphone button a certain number of times—3, 5, or 7 times for low, medium, and high intensities—when the radio is tuned to the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF). But this procedure is not universal. Some airports use different frequencies and different activation procedures. The A/FD will provide the specifics. Pilot-controlled lights can usually be activated when you're within 5-10 miles of the airport. Activating them at this distance can help you find the airport. But remember that the lights usually turn themselves off 15 minutes after they were first activated. To keep the lights from going out when you're on final approach, key your mike the required number of times when you are on the downwind leg (even if you are practicing touch-and-goes). Determining wind direction at night is not too difficult. Many airports have illuminated windsocks, so you can overfly the airport and determine the wind direction and on which runway to land. Even if ATIS (automatic terminal information service) is not in service, many airports now have an ASOS or AWOS that provides weather information 24 hours a day. Even armed with proper lighting and weather information, night arrivals call for special considerations. The approach and landing picture is often devoid of the normal visual cues, and many visual illusions can result in seemingly dumb mistakes. Lights along a street can easily create the appearance of a runway, for example. Even airline pilots have been known to make approaches to lighted streets and parking lots. The black hole approach is one of which to be wary. It occurs when few lights or terrain features are visible around the airport—the runway and lighting system seems to float on a sea of blackness. This situation can create the illusion that you're higher than you really are. In trying to get down from what seems to be too high an altitude, a pilot can land short of the runway. For VFR pilots, the best way to avoid night illusions is to fly to and from airports equipped with VASI or PAPI approach lighting systems. They provide guidance on the correct approach path and obstacle clearance within 4 nautical miles of the runway. If you are instrument rated, flying an instrument approach, even in good VFR weather, will keep the illusions in check. If you are not instrument rated, and the airport doesn't have approach lighting systems, there are ways to plan a safe descent. If your aircraft has DME (distance measuring equipment) and there is a VOR or localizer on the airport, your DME distance from the field can be used to gauge your descent. A standard 3-degree glidepath descends at 300 feet per nautical mile. On a 5-mile final, you should be 1,500 feet above ground level (AGL); at 3 miles, about 900 AGL; and on a 1-mile final, 300 AGL. Another tactic for avoiding faulty approaches at night is to fly over the airport and enter a standard landing pattern. I prefer to fly a slightly higher pattern and a steeper-than-normal approach. This keeps me within gliding distance of the runway should the engine have a surprise in store for me. The higher approach angle also helps to avoid unseen obstacles on the approach. This is especially important if the runway isn't equipped with a VASI, PAPI, or other glideslope indication. If the runway lights seem to blink or flash on your approach, beware—this usually means that obstacles on the glide path are between you and the lights. Knowing when to flare for a night landing can be challenging, but there are a few tricks that can help. One is to begin the flare when the touchdown zone and tire marks appear clearly in the beam of the landing light. Be careful not to fix your gaze there. Look ahead at the runway lights and finish the flare as you appear to sink below their level. This technique works well even with an inoperative landing light. Finally, since animals (large and small) often find their way onto rural runways at night, watch for the reflection of their eyes during takeoff and landing, and be prepared to abort if necessary. Pilot proficiency and night emergencies If you are a certificated pilot flying solo, the currency requirements for flying day or night are the same. But if you will be carrying passengers at night, FAR 61.57, Recent Flight Experience: Pilot in Command, requires that you make a minimum of three takeoffs and landings, each to a full stop, within the preceding 90 days in category and class of aircraft to be flown. As with many of the regulations, this is a minimum requirement. Meeting the letter of this regulation in no way guarantees any degree of proficiency. A more rigorous approach to proficiency raises the level of safety. Engine failure is probably the most-feared night emergency because one never knows what obstacles lie on the darkened terrain below. But engine failures are no more likely at night than during the day; their primary cause is still fuel mismanagement. To reduce the potential for fuel exhaustion, be ultra-conservative in fuel management. Plan your flight over areas that offer more airports and the best available off-airport landing sites, and fly higher to increase gliding range. Include the engine instruments as part of your scan to more readily detect developing problems. While engine failure is the most-feared night emergency, inadvertently flying from VFR into IFR weather is a far more common—and deadly—occurrence. Prevention is the best cure, but it's best to be prepared for the worst. If you're a VFR-only pilot, practice basic hood work and unusual attitude recovery often with a qualified instructor. If you've never practiced your instrument work at night, you'll be behind the eight ball if a problem arises. So combine your hood work with some night flying. Better yet, get started on that instrument rating or complete your next instrument currency check at night. Electrical failure at night is more problematic than in daylight. A partial failure could be the loss of cockpit lights, or a loss of navigation or communication capabilities. A burned-out landing light is more of an inconvenience than an emergency, however. The best strategy for coping with an electrical problem is to be prepared. Carry several flashlights and a handheld transceiver (with fresh and spare batteries). Think about and practice emergency procedures with an instructor at night. And pay close attention to your ammeter or load meter. As soon as you see a discharge or reduction in load, find someplace to land before a complete electrical system failure occurs. Night flying can truly be spectacular and safe with the proper knowledge, training, and judgment. Many times I've found myself sitting at the end of the runway at night and wondering what may lie ahead. Although some night flights kept me on the edge of my seat, others have become some of my most cherished moments in flight. Night flight regulations There are a number of regulations that specifically address night flight. For more details, consult the Federal Aviation Regulations. Pilot requirements: FAR 61.57—You cannot act as pilot in command (PIC) while carrying passengers from 1 hour after sunset to 1 hour before sunrise unless you have made three takeoffs and landings to a full stop in the same category and class of aircraft within the preceding 90 days. This is a minimum requirement; additional training or practice may be required to achieve a reasonable level of proficiency. Aircraft equipment: FAR 91.205—In addition to the day requirements, your airplane needs position lights; anti-collision/strobe lights; a landing light if operated for hire; an adequate source of electrical energy to operate the required equipment; and spare fuses (one spare set, or three of each kind.) Flight operations: FAR 91.151—You must carry enough gas to reach your first point of intended landing, and then an additional 45 minutes at normal cruising speed. Remember that this is a minimum fuel reserve, not a target for flight planning. Prudent pilots always carry more than the minimum to better accommodate potential problems. FAR 91.155—VFR visibility requirements in Class G airspace increase from 1 mile in daytime to 3 miles at night. The only exception is for operations within a half-mile of a runway, in which case VFR pilots can operate with 1 mile visibility while staying clear of clouds. But remember, just because it's legal doesn't make it safe. Prudent pilots typically set higher weather minimums for night VFR flights. FAR 91.157—In order to get a Special VFR clearance at night, you must have an instrument rating, an instrument-equipped airplane, 1 mile visibility, be able to remain clear of clouds, and a Special VFR clearance from air traffic control. FAR 91.209—You must use position and anti-collision lights between sunset and sunrise, but this regulation says you can turn off the anti-collision lights for safety, such as when flying in precipitation. Do you have what it takes to fly the Night? AOPA original artical