VISUAL NIGHT NAVIGATION PLANNING PROCEDURES
Although the principles of visual navigation are the same for night as for day, night navigation does present
some additional difficulties. When planning a night flight, you should plot the course using well-lighted
landmarks. The bridge or road that you normally use during daylight may not be visible at night.
Additionally, you must identify both lighted and unlighted obstacles along the flight path and locate
alternate airfields along the route in the event of an emergency.
As you plan your divert fields, determine which airfields along your flight path are suitable for an
emergency divert. Divert airfields must have lighted runways at least 6,000 ft long. After identifying
appropriate divert airfields, determine and plot the heading, distance, and tower frequency from each
checkpoint to the nearest emergency divert field. You also need to determine and plot the heading and
distance from each checkpoint to home base in the event that you experience a noncritical malfunction
while in flight.
You also need to be concerned with proper VFR altitude selection. If your course is between 000 and 179
degrees, use odd altitudes plus 500 ft (e.g., 15,500 ft). If your course is between 180 and 359 degrees,
use even altitudes plus 500 ft (e.g., 14,500 ft).
After you have plotted your course and identified the various checkpoints along the flight path, compute the
magnetic heading and distance in nautical miles between each set of checkpoints. Be sure to account for
the forecast winds when determining your actual heading and ground speed and also consider any pos-
sible weather problems to ensure that your projected flight path allows you to maintain VMC at all times.
After you have completed all the required route calculations, complete a single-engine jet log and calculate
your fuel requirements and estimated flight time.