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Spooked about night flying in singles?

If not, maybe you should be. There will be a debate about flying at night in single-engine airplanes for as long as there are single-engine airplanes and it gets dark every night. That is a given. ( More...

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Mike Mohle 8
Midwinter flights over snow covered ground with a full moon are certainly spectacular!
bentwing60 18
Yes. And the sorta funny old story, when flying in a single at night and the engine quits, when you think you are close to the ground turn on the landing light, if you like what you see, land. If you don't like what you see, turn off the landing light. Cheers.
bashdan 2
Dilly, dilly!
bashdan 5
I personally love flying VFR at night. It helps me appreciate day VFR even more!
bbabis 4
It depends on your age and responsibilities. The thought process in the brain changes dramaticly as we age. My first flying job was carrying canceled checks in a C-182 5 nights a week in every kind of weather around Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. I didn't think a thing of it at the time. Hell, I was getting paid to fly! Now I shudder at the thought. I would never do it again but would also never trade the experience I gained for anything.
dee9bee 3
I'll take the twin, but with misgivings. If I were flying over downtown L.A. at night, in cruise, I wanna be in the twin. (This is all hypothetical, haven't been there, done that in forty years) The problem with the twin often comes just after takeoff if an engine quits.
Life is so much simpler in the single if your only engine quits. You're landing. Will it be the golf course or the roof of the shopping mall? (think San Jose, Reid- Hillview) Your choice. With the twin, there are more decisions to make that could put you into more peril than in the single.
When I was doing my initial night training, my Instructor told me to "head for a dark spot". OK, no guarantees there, either.
bentwing60 2
Yes, but, a piston twin operated by a qualified, well trained pilot who operates it conservatively, and adheres to the performance limitations will not report an engine failure in most circumstances. He or she will not crash. Thus no reliable data on said scenario. Though the odds of losing one in a twin are "arguably" twice those for a single. So I'll say, if you can afford to own and train for twin engine ops. your odds are better. If not, a single is the logical choice. And if you have 6 flashlights in your kit maybe night flyin ain't for you. Just the ramblings of an old freight dog.
John Wilson 2
If it’s engine failure that is the worry, well, there’s probably a heck of a lot of day flIght time in the logbook when an engine loss wouldn’t have worked out too well either. At least there is in mine. My take on it is that if you’re seriously concerned that the engine is gonna quit, give up on singles completely. If it’s just general nervousness, that usually abates with experience, but, unfortunately, few single engine pilots outside of freight dogs really fly a lot at night.
Fly a plane with a BRS a little less spooky
Scott Brynen 1
I used to fly single engine VFR over water. Instructor asked me what would I do if I lost the engine beyond glide at night? I answered "Same thing I'd do during the day -- aim for the ferry" (it's a busy 12 miles over water)"
glang3 1
I know, just opt for something like the JRM Martin Mars. You are limited to big water, but at least you have 4 engines to pull you skyward.
ToddBaldwin3 1
The thing about single engine night, and single engine night IFR is that it seems like every little noise from the engine gets magnified..."did that engine just hiccup?" or "What was that sound?"
linbb -1
A friend that I knew very well and was fully rated in SEL MEL land and sea also rated in B@$,B25 test pilot for a light AC modification business had a comment about multi engine planes mainly smaller ones like Aero Comanders and such, you have twice as many engines to worry about causing problems. Just his take after many hours of many different aircraft.
linbb -2
Sorry B24,PB4Y2 and such.


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