Night currency

Private pilots are allowed to fly at night with no more restrictions than they have during the day. However, to take passengers up at night, pilots need to be “night current” which means having performed at least three take-offs and full-stop landings within the last 90 days.

I hadn’t done any night flying for a while but I might sometime this summer so I decided to get night current again by taking a short solo flight around the local pattern for a couple stop & go landings.

Pre-flight for a short solo night flight.

The thing about night flying is that it’s tough to see stuff in the dark so it’s good to fly at a familiar airport. However, of all things, this particular evening they were using Runway 5 which I have never taken off from nor landed on.

Taking off is no big deal, I know the airport layout pretty well these days. But landing on an unfamiliar runway is a bit eerie even when you know there are no obstacles on your glide path.

Short final runway 5

It was a good flight, and it’s nice to be night-current again. Maybe a fireworks flight this summer?

Columbus at night!

 

IMG_9247I needed to do a night flight to maintain my currency, so I went up Monday night. It’s tough to keep up with night flights in the summer since sunset is so late. It was 9:05pm on Monday, and “night” for pilots doesn’t start until an hour after that. A 10pm takeoff is pretty late for a guy who is normally up at 6:30am day-in and day-out.

 

Check out this time-lapse video of the flight:

 

IMG_9370Did a few landings at Delaware’s airport and then flew south to circle Columbus once. I wasn’t planning on swinging by the Horseshoe since nothing was going on there, but Approach gave me authority without even asking so I figured why pass up the opportunity?

 

After that, I took a nice leisurely circuit around the city center and then, with currency fulfilled, returned back to base.

I’ve got a few photos in the gallery below, take a look!