Night flight has certain inherent risks. the five most
important questions a pilot can ask or review before a night flight
are: full briefing from a Flight Service Station or by using a DUAT
An important part of that briefing will be NOTAMs.
1.NOTAMs are classified into
three categories: NOTAM (D) or distant,NOTAM (L) or local; and Flight
Data Center (FDC) NOTAMs. Distant airport, the NOTAMs you receive
typically will include information on navigational facilities,
frequency changes, and regu-
latory amendments, local NOTAMs include such information as runway or
taxiway closures and airport lighting outages. A total or partial
outage of a Visual Approach Slope Indicator (VASI) or Runway End
Identifier Lights (REIL) system, to obtain a local
NOTAM for your destination airport is to call the FSS responsible (see
Airport/Facility Directory) or to call the airport manager.
2.Illusions rank among the
most common factorscited as contributing to fatal accidents:Spatial
disorientation from these illusions can be prevented only by visual
reference to reliable, fixed points onthe ground or to flight
instruments.For more information on the illusions such as: Coriolis
illusion; Graveyard spiral; Somatogravic illusion; False horizon;
Autokinesis; Elevator illusion and the Inversion illusion.
Illusions Leading to LandingErrors. *
Runway width illusion. * Runway and terrain slopes illusion. *
Featureless terrain illusion. * Atmospheric Illusions. * Ground
3.Visual or electronic glide slope
is available. Check before departing to your destination. - Some of the not-so common
indicators include the * Tri-color
System, * Pulsating System, * Alignment of Element System, * Three-bar
4.Operation of airport lighting
beacons, approach lights, VASI, REIL, taxiway lights and runway lights)
may be controlled by the control tower, a Flight Service Station (FSS)
or by the pilot with radio control. On runways with both approach light
ing and runway lighting (runway edge lights, taxiway lights, etc.)
systems, the approach lighting system takes prece dence for air to
ground radio control over the runway lighting system. Note: Although
the CTAF is used to activate lights at many airports, other frequencies
may also be used. The appropriate frequency for activating the lights
on the airport can only be found in the Airport/Facility Directory, or
on a standard instrument approach procedures publication. It is not
identified on the sectional charts.
5.Terrain - Avoiding
terrain at night is easier if altitudes shown on VFR and IFR charts are
used as part of your pre flight planning.
* VFR Charts show Maximum El evation Figures (MEFs). * IFR enroute low
altitude charts contain Off Route Obstruction
Clearance Altitudes (OROCA).
from the article - Night Flying Tips: By Adrian A. Eichhorn
PAPI- Precision Approach Path Indicator
The PAPI System provides the pilot a
visual indication of the aircraft’s position relative to the
optimal glide slope during final approach to the runway.
The PAPI system consists of four units
in a line or bar, each unit having two or three 200 watt lamps. The
PAPI unit produces a beam of light, the upper portion being white,
the lower red. As the pilot’s vertical position changes, the color
of the light as seen by the pilot changes instantaneously.
The Style A PAPI uses a Power and Control Unit
(PCU) which has a photocell for automatic day/night intensity
control. The PCU can be operated by using a radio controller
signaled by an approaching aircraft. The Style B PAPI is powered by
an constant current regulator.
DOUBLE OBSTRUCTION LIGHT
Red LED aviation obstruction lights. Steady-burning obstruction lights are used to
mark tall structures that present
hazards to air navigation. At night, these lights warn pilots when
installed in accordance with FAA AC
70/7460-1 and applicable FCC and ICAO rules. It uses PPC photoelectric controller or options to provide automatic
activation at dusk in accordance with FAA specifications.