The key to a good night landing is to include the runway as part of your scan. Use your instruments to
establish your altitude and heading and use the runway to check your pattern. During your approach,
establish and maintain your rate of descent, turn, and AOA on instruments but also scan the runway to
determine the status of your approach. If you see the need for a correction, look back inside and make
the correction on instruments. Continue with this inside-outside scan until you pick up the ball.
Remember, dont descend below 300 ft AGL unless you have the ball. Use the ball for glideslope
information, the runway for lineup, and the AOA indexer for airspeed control.
For a night touch and go, use your instruments to rotate to the takeoff attitude and during the initial
climbout. As you pass 300 ft AGL, begin your inside-outside scan so that you can pick up your interval.
Climb to 500 ft AGL prior to turning downwind.
Because your field of view is limited at night, your sense of speed during the full-stop landing roll-out is not
as acute. Use the runway remaining markers to determine how far down the runway you are and use the
relative motion of the runway lights to judge your speed.
NO RADIO (NORDO) PROCEDURES
Of course, you normally use the radio as the primary method of communicating at night. However, in a
NORDO situation, you have to know and follow the NORDO recovery procedures listed in the course
If you are NORDO, set your IFF to 7600 for the remainder of your flight or as directed by ATC. Also, set
your exterior lights to BRIGHT and FLASHING. Proceed directly to your home field and execute the
NORDO recovery procedures. Make all normal radio transmissions in the blind on the appropriate fre-
When you enter the overhead pattern, pick up your own interval for the break. Ensure that you complete
the landing checklist and also remember to turn on your landing/taxi light. As you roll into the groove, look
for a steady green light from the tower to indicate clearance to land. If you dont see the green light, wave
off and go around for another approach. Remember to perform your landing checklist again. On the
second approach, look for the green light again. If you dont see it this time, land the aircraft unless you
get the waveoff lights.
If you are solo and NORDO, another aircraft may join on you in loose formation. If you have no other
problems, continue with a NORDO recovery as described above. The other aircraft will follow in loose
formation, but dont worry about that aircraft: fly your own aircraft. If you have another problem in addition
to being NORDO, pass the appropriate HEFOE signal to the other aircraft.
To pass the HEFOE signal at night, hold the flashlight close to the top of the canopy, point it toward the
other aircraft, and signal for the affected system:
Hydraulic system: one dash
Electrical system: two dashes
Fuel system: three dashes
Oxygen system: four dashes
Engine: five dashes