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Do you use your night rating?

I just realized that nearly every 11th landing in my log book is a night landing.

Normally I try to arrive during daylight but in winter it’s so early that useful daylight times just prohibit any meaningful longer flight if I would have to arrive safely during daylight. Then I get into night time every now and then. I do have a recent entry with just 1 minute of night time (end of civil twilight on final), but also had total flights in the night.

From a safety point of view, an engine out and forced landing at night might have the same probability of success than in IMC with low cloud base. What do you think?


From a safety point of view, an engine out and forced landing at night might have the same probability of death than in IMC with low cloud base. What do you think?


I don’t fly single engine piston aircraft without BRS at night.

Last Edited by Snoopy at 17 Feb 20:01
always learning
LO__, Austria

Do you use your night rating?

Trying to stay on the question… NO.

Even if I had one of those expensive night capable airplanes, the scarcity of airfields equipped for, and the very restricted late opening hours of fields in CHE make night flying challenging to say the least. Once you’ve tried to slot into ZRH/GVA/BSL, there is only a handful of airfields where night flying is possible, and my home field is certainly not.

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

Emphatically – YES, although in FAAland there is no ‘night rating’, night flying is part of the PPL privileges. Flying at night over LA is spectacular and one of the great pleasures of GA.

Yes, of course. It’s so beautiful to fly at night and look down to the lights of cities and streets.
EDDS , Germany

If I could make an IFR trip that started in daylight with maybe only the last part ending at night from a very high FL to a fully equipped IFR field, I would, but that model hasn’t presented for my trips yet.
Other than in a twin, that’s it for me.
Night takes away my last option to possibly get down in one piece. There’s no guarantees in daylight but I feel my input, based on seeing something, gives me a chance.
If that’s wrong or others opinion differs, that’s ok, but because after 20+ years that’s been my plan, it’ll remain my plan.

United Kingdom

Yes! At 60°N where I’m located, the night rating is practically a must or there would be very little flying during winter months. That is also reflected in the availability of airports open after sunset. Even many grass fields have runway lights. Pilot controlled, of course. (E.g. my home base Sundbro/ESKC.)

Last Edited by Airborne_Again at 17 Feb 20:32
ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

I love flying at night, the feeling and scenery are great.
But in the past 2 years I started to feel uncomfortable to fly a SEP at night. I flew much less in a SEP (landing shortly after sunset is fine, I’m talking about full night flights) and more often in a twin.
Most of the time I’m flying IFR, but more for practical reasons as I tend not to fly if it’s a lot of IMC at night, unless I am planning to do it for practice in certain conditions (and only in a twin). In the end, the beauty of night flying is to look outside, isn’t it?
From a safety standpoint, I’m sure many people will have different opinions. I think the chances of a safe emergency landing are much less at night than during daylight (of course it depends on where you are flying during daylight), and I’m not a fan of targeting roads as a landing strip. I don’t want to harm other people just because I wanted to fly at night…

EHLE LIMB, Netherlands

UdoR wrote:

From a safety point of view, an engine out and forced landing at night might have the same probability of success than in IMC with low cloud base

Engine failures during the cruise phase of flight are extremely rare. According to my memory only 1/3 of engine failures happens during cruise. Assuming a Lycoming / Continental engine would fail catastrophically once every 100k hours, probability of failure during your night cross country is what? once per 300 000h
Now, let’s say that one is really careful and makes sure the engine would not stop due to fuel starvation / exhaustion, that should eliminate 25% of potential accidents
Now we are up to a single engine failure per 400 000h. How many hours we fly per year at night?
The point I’m trying to make is that IMHO engine failure is not the greatest danger of single pilot night flying


In Croatia there’s no night cross country VFR, so practically any night flying is IFR. For me it can’t be return to a base (VFR only airport), so usually it’s flying somewhere.

Last Edited by Emir at 17 Feb 21:29
LDZA LDVA, Croatia
81 Posts
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