I do realise there is an old thread with this exact question, but I believe the answer within to be incorrect.
Although it is referenced in numerous texts, CAAP and the VFR flight guide, I cannot find any reference in CAO 20.18 to stipulate any further instrument or lighting requirements for VFR flight at night over VFR flight during the day. I believe the appendixes IV and V are for Instrument Flight Rules only (Also note the the bracketed "Including night V.M.C" does not mean the same as "Including night VFR")
The lighting requirement for night VFR is clearly stated in CAR 174A, so I am not sure why everyone references the CAO?
Someone please prove me wrong! (By a reference to legal document) so I understand when starting my NVFR training soon.
ARGUEMENT 1: I refer you to Appendix IX of CAO 20.18 as an example. It talks about Night VMC agriculatural operations requirements.
I'm not an ag-pilot, but I don't think you'll find many operators doing IFR night spraying ops, which indirectly implies (due to the lack of the term IFR) that Night VMC is not IFR at all.
It's ANY flight rule structure in VMC at Night... IFR or VFR.
ARGUEMENT 2: CAR Definitions: V.M.C. is the symbol used to denote meteorological conditions in which the flight visibility and distances from cloud during a flight are equal to, or greater than, the applicable distances determined by the Authority under subregulation 172(2).
The CAR 172 referring above is in CAR Volume 3, Division 3, VISUAL FLIGHT RULES. CAR 172 also specifically refers to the VMC requirements set out as per applicable to VFR flights.
As long as you conform to VMC, your requirements are as per appendix 4 and 5 of CAO 20.18
Thanks for the reply guys, but I'm not convinced...
Argument 1: I agree with your comments: Night VMC does not imply any specific rules (VFR or IFR). BUT, it does not "indirectly imply that VMC is not IFR".
If night V.M.C. was meant to be taken as night VFR, then Appendix V would simply be called "Electric lighting equipment for flight at night"
If we look at appendix III, IFR charter aircraft must follow these more stringent instrument requirements (Except night V.M.C). If for example he was to make a flight at night under IFR but one of his altimeters failed, then he would need to remain in V.M.C (But can still plan and follow the Instrument Flight Rules if he wished) because his instrument requirements are now covered by appendix IV
Argument 2: I appreciate you taking the time to reference the CAR VMC and VFR definitions. But the major point I think we are missing is that IFR aircraft can also fly in VMC condtions but must still follow the INSTRUMENT Flight Rules (Unless the PIC decides to change to VFR and notifies the proper ATS).
By flying in VMC conditions, does not imply that you are to follow Visual Flight Rules at all.
MTE, The CAR 174A (2) states the lighting requiements for VFR flight at night...
The CAO probably harks back to the days when a night VFR rating was a class of instrument rating (Class IV?), and hence the Appendix V stuff was bundled in with IFR.
Clearly, lighting is required, and it seems most most unlikely the CAO would have been written with the intent of allowing NVFR to launch with no more equipment than that required for day. Having accepted that, I think we are safe to assume the appendix V stuff is meant to apply to VFR flights at night, notwithstanding quibbles about whether VMC or VFR is mentioned.