You are now ready to enter one of the most interesting and challenging phases of your flight training
night flying. You should not approach this phase with any more apprehension than you did when you
began night driving. By this point, your skills as a pilot are fairly well developed and you should find this
transition relatively simple to accomplish.
The Night Familiarization block is not intended to teach you everything you need to know about flying at
night but instead to familiarize you with the basic principles of night flight. Good night flying, like good night
driving, requires increased care and attention to your surroundings. You will have to identify obstructions
and other aircraft not by outline but by such small identifying features as a few colored lightsnot as
difficult as it sounds if you leave the ground well prepared for the conditions you will find when airborne.
Once you are airborne and clear of all ground obstructions, the only possible obstruction remaining is other
aircraft, so, obviously, it is essential that you maintain a good lookout doctrine.
HUMAN FACTORS OF NIGHT FLYING
An object must be illuminated by some light source before it can be perceived by the human eye, and
fortunately even the darkest of nights will have some light that will enable you to see objects with some
degree of clarity. The extent to which you will be able to see depends upon the degree to which your eyes
can adapt to the darkness and the intensity of existing sources of light, such as the moon, stars, and lights
on the ground.
Factors Affecting Night Vision
The following factors affect your ability to interpret what you see at night:
Few lighted landmarks
Oxygen level in blood
Cockpit light intensity