Tailwinds Flying Club
Winter Safety Session – 2010
Any chair that moves faster than 15 knots should be
treated with great respect.
The Cessna Skylane left North Las Vegas Airport on a filed
flight plan to Rosamond, California. The Flight departed
just after 7 p.m. in night VFR. The aircraft hit Nevada’s
Mount Potosi, elevation 8,500 feet, killing the two pilots.
The last transmission from the aircraft indicated the
Skylane was only at 7,000 feet msl. The two pilots were
highly experienced Civil Air Patrol (CAP) pilots with more
than 50,000 hours of flight experience between them.
FAR 61.57 Recent flight experience: Pilot in command.
(b) General experience
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, no person
may act as pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers
during the period beginning 1 hour after sunset and ending 1
hour before sunrise…
What time today is officially sunset?
How many days do you have before you are non-current for night flight?
How many takeoffs and landing and when are required to be current ?
Are you required to fly same aircraft category class and type?
How the weather look? Can’t say everything looks
black outside the cockpit?
The weather this week had warm temperatures above
freezing during the day and below freezing at night.
What conditions might you expect at night under these
Low Level Icing
No time for NOTAMs?
You get behind on your flight plan and night falls before you
reach your destination airport. You see the beacon but the
runway lights won’t come on when you click on UNICOM
What do you do?
– Check radio is on correct frequency
– Call FSS
– Find another airport (how much fuel you got?)
– Pray and hope the landing light is bright enough to see the runway
What should you have done before leaving the airport of
– Called the airport manager/FBO before leaving
– Check NOTAMs
What good’s that flashlight if the batteries are dead?
What equipment do you carry in your flight bag for night
Do you check the condition and batteries (if required)
What do you do if you loose electric power?
How about if the engine quits or there is a fire?
What do you look for if you have to land out at night?
Takeoff and Landing Minimums
How much do you add to the takeoff and landing
minimums when landing at night?
Consider adding to the POH distances a factor of 1.5
Airlines add 67 percent to flight manual distances
POH charts are for factory new, tweaked to top performance,
and flown by the manufacturer’s test pilot.
Hard to see those 50 foot obstacles at night.
What will a 10” tree trunk do to a wing or landing gear at 75
Nothing like experience!
Do night flights frequently.
Go up with a safety pilot or CFI if it has been a while
since you last night flight.
Be Safe, fly safe.