View Full Version : Night rating. 1 hour solo??

23rd Jan 2019, 15:56
Hi, not sure if I'm being a bit daft. Sorry.
But I am slightly unclear on the 5 stop and go's within 1 hour solo.
Is the 1 hour solo still enforced or is it just 5 stop and go's that meet the requirement ?

23rd Jan 2019, 16:03
Why not read the regulation?
FCL.810 Night rating
(a) Aeroplanes, TMGs, airships.
(1) If the privileges of an LAPL, an SPL or a PPL for aeroplanes, TMGs or airships are to be
exercised in VFR conditions at night, applicants shall have completed a training course at an
ATO. The course shall comprise:
(i) theoretical knowledge instruction;
(ii) at least 5 hours of flight time in the appropriate aircraft category at night, including
at least 3 hours of dual instruction, including at least 1 hour of cross-country
navigation with at least one dual cross- country flight of at least 50 km (27 NM) and 5
solo take-offs and 5 solo full-stop landings.
(2) Before completing the training at night, LAPL holders shall have completed the basic
instrument flight training required for the issue of the PPL.
(3) When applicants hold both a single-engine piston aeroplane (land) and a TMG class rating,
they may complete the requirements in (1) above in either class or both classes.
5 hours total of which:
3 hours Dual
5 solo take-offs and 5 solo full-stop landings.
Once upon a time there was a solo night Navex and a 1 hour solo requirement, but thats now gone.

23rd Jan 2019, 16:10
Great, thanks. I'm not going mad. Lol
Majority of flying school websites still stipulate 1 hour solo. So my student then asked and I thought I'd better double check.
Thanks again.

23rd Jan 2019, 17:33
Don’t forget that those 5 ‘stop and goes’ are the stipulation of the regulation- if they take 30 minutes or you fly ‘bomber circuits’ and they take 90 minutes the requirement is met. The other thing is what’s in the training manual. If the TM states 1 hour solo to include “5 stop...” then it is that requirement that should be met otherwise the “course” has not been conpleted.

23rd Jan 2019, 19:40
and to add the solo night navex might not be a bad thing, even though it might not be a requirement, it is good for your confidence, likewise if a runway becomes blocked on your solo take off and landings you might have to do a solo cross country!

23rd Jan 2019, 21:10
It is a tricky rating, I always tell my students that is a get out of jail free card for those late day navigations that you end up being delayed by the fuel truck or surprised by stronger headwinds and you arrival becomes a night arrival. It is also a nice transition to IR.
However, I always discourage the idea of doing long dark night navigations on a SEP rental AC specially above irregular/unfamiliar terrain.
Weather can change unnoticed, clouds can form bellow you camouflaged in the dark ground or above you confused in the dark sky, making you suddenly go IMC or trapped, if the student is a fresh PPL, the risk of being disoriented is high.
For initial solo NVFR after the pilot got the rating I suggest her/him to do mini navs to get confidence or choose a full moon night for a long one if their goal is to fly solo NVFR during the hour building.
During the dual nav I try to include a touch and go in the alternate, so the student gets familiar with the procedure/perspective at night in case they are forced to divert on their first solo.

23rd Jan 2019, 21:40

Agree with your comments

A well known CAA examiner / instructor told me often :

Only Bats or Twats fly single engine at night

He declined to do so but rest of us just had to crack on ..............

23rd Jan 2019, 23:16

Agree with your comments

A well known CAA examiner / instructor told me often :

Only Bats or Twats fly single engine at night

He declined to do so but rest of us just had to crack on ..............

Seems appropriate considering recent events.

I still get the student to do at least a solo departure and rejoin.

Arfur Dent
24th Jan 2019, 07:38
SE light aircraft flying at night seems more than a little foolhardy to me. What is the procedure for dealing with an engine failure requiring a forced landing in a field? It's difficult enough to get this right in the daytime so do you practice it at night? How? What about total electrics failure?
What is the purpose of flying at night with one engine? "Getting caught out by increased headwinds" is a little weak - try not to plan for a dusk landing seems a lot safer.
Everything becomes much more complex at night. Ditching. Getting into a dinghy. Search and Rescue.
One exception that I would consider is a Cirrrus because it is fitted with a ballistic parachute which at least makes a forced landing a surviveable proposition.
My right to speak? 12 years in RAF - 8 on Fast Jets followed by an Airline career with a legacy carrier on 737 and all types of 747. 25,000 hours.
SE night flying? Avoid at all costs except in a Cirrus ( or similar).

24th Jan 2019, 08:42
Statistically, SEP night flying is much safer than daytime, though I'm not saying that we should all fly at night rather than day! Also, SEP is safer than twin flying; an engine failure in a twin is more likely to be fatal than an engine failure in a single.
The reasons that night SEP is safer then day is that it is a more controlled environment with better fuel and flight planning and is flown in certificated aircraft. I think Lycoming say that over 90% of their engine stoppages are caused by fuel exhaustion.
No, we don't practice forced landings at night.
I have experienced a total electrical failure at night, when the alternator failed. The first thing that fell off was the transponder, followed by all the radios flickering. We immediately turned off the master switch and of course the engine kept running as if nothing had happened. We then turned off everything, turned the master back on and one com, declared an emergency, turned for the nearest open airfield, were given clearance to land from about 10 miles out, turned everything off again. Of course we'd lost the intercom which made discussing the next steps slightly more difficult, but we formed a plan A and B for lowering the gear (electric pump). Fortunately, it was VMC for the approach and nav was easy. We turned the master back on downwind and got the gear down normally, manual flaps on the Arrow so no problem with the landing. We turned off the runway and turned the com back on. We made contact with the Tower and the huge red lorries with the blue lights withdrew to allow us to park on stand. No particular drama, excellent learning points for me and the student. I must confess to feeling a bit complacent as we settled in to the navex, in the student's own aircraft which was really comfortable, heater on, in the cruise, lovely starlit night. I might have noticed a bit earlier if I'd been paying more attention - isn't there something in human factors about arousal?


24th Jan 2019, 10:31
we don't practice forced landings at night Really! I always taught my guys to do it, onto an airfield.

24th Jan 2019, 11:36
It is a very nice topic and concern. As many things in aviation, it is important to mitigate any possible thing that can go wrong.
I basically agree not to encourage NAV at NVFR with current (old) SEP AC, a Cirrus would be better no doubt. Flying only day VFR would be better however, it is part of the training for PPL aspirants for CPL/IR pilots.

PFL and EFATO are not being flown as part of the training, we do brief the students during our theoretical ground school designed for NVFR. The risk of practicing this is quite high.
On ground we go through different scenarios of PFL, different terrain types in the area to be flown and possible hidden hazards (lamp posts, fences, dark buildings, trees, electric wires, to name a few, the list is long), we go through the last seconds before landing/possible impact where we may get a hint of obstacle with the landing light few seconds before giving us a slight quick chance to do a sudden turn to avoid a head on impact. We do analyze the possibility of considering the ditching on a neighborhood lake and the ocean with the possible consequences of doing such a thing (obviously depends on the grounds to do so, the outcome must be better off than a high/irregular terrain). The importance of calling a Mayday with clear concise information (coordinates, etc)
We do however practice glide to land in order to get the student to feel how the aircraft glide without clear clues from the outside.
Regarding ALTERNATOR failure, TOO’s experience was very nice to be shared. On the emergency section during the Ground school we cover many “what if” situations.
We make sure the students don’t show up for NVFR without a non glaring flashlight and a backup white one, during the flying part we turn off the cockpit lights and we continue with the flash lights to simulate an electrical failure, we also include the flapless landings and without landing lights.
We brief for the lost comms procedures and at some point we request the controller to give us green light on final, so the student gets to experience those lights we always see in books but never got a clue how they look in real life.
Another concern is WX deteriorations going unnoticed, we ask students to update ATIS every one or second FREDA checks, depending on the night, paying attention to T/D, clouds formation, QNH.
On a NAVEX once we got caught inside a cloud due to weather changing rapidly and not forecast, even going unnoticed to me (that AC didn’t have strong beacon light nor flashing wing strobes) from that night I make sure that every now and then (or when suspicious of clouds formation) I make use of landing lights for few seconds, if you are in the proximity of a clouds the white light will show you the hazy vapor ahead.
Fog formation can also be a concern, hence the periodic checks on TD.
Another night, while doing TG on a clear night, fog made the airport go IMC, if we were outside the CTR we would have been forced to divert, as we were visual with the runway we continued for a full stop.
Fog can cover the dark ground and go unnoticed, I always make sure my students are very vigilant with the weather, pre flight and during the flight. Any weather deterioration forcing you IMC is an emergency (for VFR pilots flying at night). SEP Engine failure at night after WX or fog?.... difficult to answer. Be ready to mitigate.

Disorientation, general handling practices, partial panel is also important for the training.
Smooth flying and to avoid overbanking/steep descending is imperative for me while teaching NVFR.
Illusions and body reactions are very important too, they may be little at starts but if goes unnoticed may grow into an avalanche effect, it is important to recognize them.
The NVFR is a serious training that it is only done in 5 hours. Ideally should be bridged with the IR under my opinion from the training point of view.

Dan Winterland
24th Jan 2019, 15:20
What is the procedure for a forced landing at night? Glide straight ahead. At 200ft, turn on the landing light. If you don't like what you see, turn it off again!

Arfur Dent
24th Jan 2019, 15:48
Exactly Dan!!
Airgus - thanks for that very comprehensive "take" on NVFR. I agree that the risk of practicing EFATO or PFL is quite high and therefore precludes the training. So just hope it doesn't happen. For pilots wishing to progress to CPL/ATPL I suggest waiting until you fly a twin which, properly handled, should be much safer.
Alternatively, fly at night in a Cirrus but they are wickedly expensive.

memories of px
1st Feb 2019, 20:41
A friend of mine did suffer fuel exhaustion at night due to a leak , she made a successful forced landing into a field using the landing light like a torch! she was spotted by the farmer who said she was one lucky lady as only the day before he had a 1000 head of cattle in that field! when your lucks in your lucks in

1st Feb 2019, 20:44
and to add the solo night navex might not be a bad thing, even though it might not be a requirement, it is good for your confidence, likewise if a runway becomes blocked on your solo take off and landings you might have to do a solo cross country!

Absolutely ridiculous to send a student on a solo night XC.

2nd Feb 2019, 08:17

Don't forget that in Europe (which still includes us for at least a few weeks) night training is not allowed until after licence issue.

7th Feb 2019, 09:59
Arfur Dent I obviously, as a mere mortal PPL, salute your credentials flying thoroughbreds in the RAF and heavies in Civvy Street but really, I think your prejudice against SEP operations flies in the face of facts (pun kind of intended but excuse it anyway!). If you apply this logic, I hope to goodness you don't drive your single engined car on unlit roads at night? Do you endlessly fear an engine failure in the car (more to go wrong)? I am constantly amazed at the irrational fear expressed by professional pilots that PPLs flying in IMC or at night in SEPs are mad and that they think almost all operations over water are foolish. The facts suggest otherwise.
If, as you will surely know, proper preparation and risk mitigations are taken, the risks are very small indeed. Yes, the fan may quit, and you need to know how to handle that. But it probably won't.
I've had electrical failures, DI failures, comms failures and all sorts. (first 2 over water, 3rd in IMC in icing.... exciting) but happily the training and refresher training and practice kicked in.

7th Feb 2019, 15:16
Risk is a combination of Likelihood and Severity. The likelihood of an engine failure is no greater at night than by day but the probable severity of the outcome is significantly greater unless you are within gliding range of a suitable, lit landing area. Therefore, by definition, the risk is greater by night than by day.

7th Feb 2019, 16:43
Mr A
night training is not allowed until after licence issue. Where do you get that from?
I can find nothing in the regulation that precludes conducting both the PPL and the Night Rating courses prior to licence application.

8th Feb 2019, 10:26
I can't remember the official source but it's been that way for at least a couple of years or more. Another hiccup caused by EASA. Confirmed, if not officially, in an article in the AOPA magazine that just arrived this morning.......

8th Feb 2019, 10:29
It may be possible after licence has been applied for, but unsure what would happen if the application was rejected.

8th Feb 2019, 11:49
The only thing that has changed under EASSA is that the PPL and Night ratings have to be seperate courses and hours can't be shared, but there is absolutely nothing to prevent them being conducted at the same time. The only proviso is that for a LAPL the Instrument Appreciation from the PPL syllabus must be completed prior to comencing the night rating. Both can be done and applied for at the same time. The CAA has no grounds to reject such an application. No regulation requires the PPL to be issued before the night rating can be started.

9th Feb 2019, 09:56
The above may well be wrong, but I don't have the time to challenge the CAA on anything, nor the inclination to carry out night training with an ab initio student that might lead to one. I'm working eight days a week already!

9th Feb 2019, 14:01
There is absolutely nothing in the Regulation that requires the skill test to be passed or the licence to be issued before training towards an aeroplane night rating may be commenced. The sole pre-requisite, as Whopity has pointed out, is that the holder of a LAPL(A) shall have completed the basic instrument flight training in the PPL(A) course before commencing training for the night rating.

9th Feb 2019, 18:39
Mr A
If you can point me at where that article comes from, I'll be more than happy to add it to the long list of errors that I frequently point out to them. As it is, they take little notice of any such comments industry makes to them, but its still worth a try.

10th Feb 2019, 09:07
AOPA UK magazine, February 2019.

10th Feb 2019, 12:28
So it does not originate from Gatwick!

11th Feb 2019, 09:08
Whopity, I wrote the article having checked all the facts with the CAA.

I'm sure they'll be overjoyed to receive yet another Whopity-gram, it's not as if they've got anything better to do...:rolleyes:

MrAverage, did you obtain permission from the editor before copying and uploading that extract?

Anyway, the better news is that the EASA FS.TEC committee are happy with my proposals for the formal inclusion of night flying in LAPL and PPL courses and the proposals will now go to the EASA GA COM.

11th Feb 2019, 13:45
Sorry, didn't realize it was a problem, I've deleted the post. I'm very new to attaching...........

11th Feb 2019, 14:06
EASA FS.TEC committee are happy with my proposals for the formal inclusion of night flying in LAPL and PPL courses and the proposals will now go to the EASA GA COM. Now does that mean that they will include the 5 hours night within the 45 hour PPL course or that you can do them both together, which current regulation allows anyway? Presumably, one might see the outcome in the next 5 years;, we are still awaiting amendments from 2014.
As for the CAA having better things to do, I would have thought that getting it right, was one of their priorities. Only last week they pushed out a skywise that lead nowhere!

11th Feb 2019, 16:01
Whopity, if you read the full article, all will be made clear. But here's the relevant extract:ICAO requires only that a PPL applicant has successfully flown 40 hr total time, including 10 hr solo, before applying for a PPL. Indeed, for 'approved courses' such as the one I completed at Cranfield in 1968, the figure is only 35 hr total time. Whereas for the PPL(A), EASA requires 45 hr, of which at least 25 hr must be dual and at least 10 hr solo, which means that the other 10 hr may be either dual or solo. Similarly, for the LAPL(A), EASA requires 30 hr total training, of which 15 hr must be dual and 6 hr solo, with the remainder being either dual or solo.

However, unlike the requirements for helicopter night flying, there is nothing in the Night Rating requirements of FCL.810(a) which requires the Night Rating applicant to have already held a LAPL(A) or PPL(A). The aeroplane or TMG Night Rating course requires only 5 hr of night training, of which 3 hr must be dual; indeed at many times of year it is perfectly possible to complete a Night Rating in 2-3 nights.

So I will be proposing to our EASA committee that, provided the mandatory dual and supervised flight time stipulated for the LAPL(A) or PPL(A) has been completed under Day VFR, night flying training may also be conducted during the relevant course. This would give greater purpose to the 'spare' 10 hr (PPL) or 9 hr (LAPL) and would provide a significant cost saving for the student. Perhaps those very nice people at Gatwick might also review their licensing fees if such a combined course was accepted? For those who've never tried it, night flying can actually be rather pleasant as the air is often less turbulent, there are fewer other people about and provided you don't tell it that it's dark, the engine of an SEP/TMG is no more likely to fail than it would by day. Some of my more timid RAF QFI colleagues thought that night flying in the Bulldog was quite hazardous as forced landings would be nigh-on impossible. Which wasn't really much of an excuse given that flying down to a 200ft Decision Height in IMC never seemed to give them any such qualms!

LAPL trainees would need to meet the further prerequisite of PPL-level instrument flying experience, as has been said.