View Full Version : Night hours on my logbook

5th Dec 2009, 14:01
Hi all!!

I am collecting my hours in a new logbook (bossy work :uhoh:) and here is the question.

From what time to what time is it considered night flight?? (in utc time)

Any help will be very much apreciated.

Nice flights


5th Dec 2009, 14:18
Pilot & CAA Auditor with an atpl/ir/me who lives on the Moon and doesn't know how to log night hours (in UTC :confused:) Mods!


The period between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, or such other period between sunset and sunrise as may be prescribed by the appropriate Authority.

Panama Jack
5th Dec 2009, 14:24
Depends on how your national regulatory authority defines "night." Because it depends based on latitude and season, you can't really go strictly by time unless you have the tables and know your exact position.

In the world of the US FAA, it is defined as the time between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, as published in the American Air Almanac, converted to local time.

Transport Canada published a similar definition, without referring to the American Air Almanac. However, their previous [superseded] definition may be more helpful if you don't have a copy of an Air Almanac handy-- "night" - means the period beginning one half-hour after sunset and ending one half-hour before sunrise and, in respect of any place where the sun does not rise or set daily, the period during which the centre of the sun's disc is more than six degrees below the horizon;

So then, a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise generally means when everything is pitch dark. For that reason, note that in Arctic regions during the summer time there is no such thing as night, and in the winter there is no such thing as day.

Does this help somewhat?

5th Dec 2009, 14:45
When your flight lands or takes-off at night, log it as night. On long-haul, just do an estimate, it is not an exact science, nobody gives a damn about night-or day-hours once you fly commercially so don't waste your time calculating the exact sunrise/sunset, be it Civilian, Nautical or Astronomical...

5th Dec 2009, 14:55
Hi again,

Thanks for the posts.

I was looking if there was an "official/general" time to log the night hours.
For my case in Spain.

I will keep on searching.

Nice flights.


Coffin Corner
5th Dec 2009, 15:39

It will be as Panama Jack said.

Official night is ˝hr after sunset, and ˝hr before sunrise. You should be able to obtain the official sunset time from your airfield NOTAM. But don't overcomplicate it, if it's dark then log it as night, if it's light then don't.


5th Dec 2009, 20:27
So it's officially the end of civil twilight, you're at 40,000' wearing sunglasses, and you can log night time?

I log what I consider real night time. If I can taxi or land without lights it's day time. If I can see the instruments without needing the cockpit lights it's day time. Is any of this a sharply defined time? No.

Who's going to track down when they exactly crossed the spot on the earth that was exactly 30 minutes after the end of civil twilight? That's easy to figure out on a north/south flight, a nightmare on a east/west flight.

5th Dec 2009, 20:29
You can have a hundred of mine if you wish.

Old Smokey
6th Dec 2009, 14:26
I use a highly complex method, also practiced by others, as follows -

.1. When it's day, I log it as Day, and
.2. When it's dark, I log it as Night.

A few complex relationships in there, but it works for me!:ok:


Old Smokey

Pugilistic Animus
6th Dec 2009, 18:52
OS sooo pedantic:}


Old Smokey
7th Dec 2009, 11:22
Pedantic, who? Me? Surely not:}

Actually, you can be if you want to and have time to spare, to wit -

misd-agin said "That's easy to figure out on a north/south flight, a nightmare on a east/west flight."

Only last night I operated a West to East flight with a high proportion of Muslim passengers who were keen to know the time of Sunrise in our (moving) aircraft. With time to spare, it took about 10 minutes work, and we "nailed" it to within 1 minute. I'd explain how it's done, but someone might label me pedantic!:eek::eek::eek::eek:

As an added bonus, we provided them with the direction to Mecca (Qibla) courtesy of FMC direction to waypoint ISLAM. (Notably, airlines like Qatar provide this direction on the passenger map display).

All in a day's work, keeping the folks down the back happy, after all, they pay my salary.:ok:


Old Smokey

7th Dec 2009, 23:58
Anyone think the average guy is going to spend 10 minutes trying to figure out where they were when 'night' actually started?

8th Dec 2009, 14:31
Hi all!!

I found the solution.

Sunrise, Sunset Calendars and Local Time (http://www.sunrisesunset.com/)

Nice landings.


Jump Complete
10th Dec 2009, 20:28
I'm with Old Smokey. If it's dark outside, it's night. (I need instrument lights well before it is actually fully dark) On the ground, I work on the basis that if I can't see the grass beside the runway or taxiway, then it is night.

11th Dec 2009, 11:36
Have I been doing it wrong for 40 years? I look out, and if I think ' Cor it's getting dark!', it's night flying. If it's light and I reckon I could see other aeroplanes clearly, it's daylight! Sorry, but as for going into tables and working out when astronomical sunrise and sunset are....everyday I am flying....no thankyou!

Paradise Lost
12th Dec 2009, 10:56
and I reckon I could see other aeroplanes clearly, it's daylight!
RT, when I can see other aeroplanes clearly, it's probably dark! That London TMA seems visually unused during daylight; then it gets dark, and the place is teeming with the rascals....barely room to squeeze between them!

12th Dec 2009, 16:14
When I can see other aeroplanes clearly, it's daylight. If I can see other aeroplanes lights, then it's night.

12th Dec 2009, 16:21
Bit of a bummer when it's cloudy.

12th Dec 2009, 16:30
ha ha this thread is classic. I just think "hmmmmm I reckon 3 hrs of that was night" and log that. Then I halve it and call that instrument time.
Some people on these boards will be very upset with me for logging 1.5hrs instrument flight time when it may have been beautiful VMC clear night, but I don't want to spend my time figuring out if I'm IMC or VMC and it gets to a point where it doesn't really matter anyway. I mean who cares if you have 5000hrs of IMC or 6000hrs?

Edited to say: I don't have that much....it was just an example.

Henry VIII
12th Dec 2009, 18:09
There is an easyer way to calculate the figures.

Download an electronic logbook software, also in trial version, and enter icao code and times for your trip.
For sure you will find inside a page or a sub-page where it shows you the real night hours (and minutes too !) according the flight.
Software takes care of the different (if any) local time on dep & destn.

Hope this helps.