December 2007 Issue

Blinded By The Night

When you havenít made a night landing in a while, use tools ranging from ATC to pilot-controlled lighting to your own cockpit lighting.

Returning home from a week-long business trip late on a Sunday evening, you pull into your driveway and realize you forgot to leave on the lights inside your house. You fumble the key into the lock, push the door open and grope the foyer wall until you find the light switch. You know this place intimately by sight during the day, but in the dark it seems oddly unfamiliar. Landing at your home airport at night evokes a similar experience for many pilots, and arriving after dark at an airport youíve never visited before can be quite disconcerting. But with thorough planning and the proper training, landing at night doesnít have to feel like stumbling into an amusement park fun house.

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