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2 Answers

Night Flight runway orientation?

Asked by: 1428 views Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor, General Aviation, Private Pilot, Student Pilot

Yesterday, I flew solo local at night for the first time, but I can't just seem to grasp the runway orientation at night giving the runway lights are only visible if you are within the runway magnetic heading. I also saw REILs and that helped me identify the runway start and end point. Any suggestions and tips for night flight runway orientation?

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2 Answers



  1. Mark Kolber on Jun 21, 2015

    If I understand your question…

    I’m assuming you are not using some kind of moving map. In that case, the DG is your friend. Runway 33/15 can be visualized as a line running from 330 to 150 on your DG to help with orienting yourself. Works day or night.

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  2. jmt on Aug 05, 2015

    Do you have any VORs or a CDI you can use? Heading bug? Like Mark said a moving map is great, but if you don’t have that a heading bug or CDI set to the runway heading works fine. Also, if you find yourself losing orientation you might need to work on your inside-outside scan. Every few seconds you should have your eyes outside. This keeps from over or under shooting the downwind and also is very important for see and avoid, which is extremely important at night (especially if you don’t have a TCAS or other collision avoidance system).

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