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6 Answers

Why not IFR training at night?

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Instrument Rating

I have listend to several podcast where Pilots are going out for their instrument ratings. Yet they say they can see shadows while under the hood and it is possilbe to cheat a little unless your truly in the clouds...Why not do IFR trainig at night?

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6 Answers

  1. Gary Moore on Oct 15, 2012

    There is nothing wrong with doing IFR training at night – happens all the time.

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  2. Joel Odom on Oct 15, 2012

    I’ve done quite a bit of IFR training under the hood. It’s as good as the real thing. My first actual IFR approach and (most of!) my subsequent ones have been very good, even though I do most of my training under simulated IFR.

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  3. Koehn on Oct 15, 2012

    I did a fair bit of my IFR training at night. If nothing else, it teaches you that single-pilot circle-to-land at night is a really, really bad idea!

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  4. Koehn on Oct 15, 2012

    By the way, do as much training as you can in actual IMC. It is totally different than the hood in that there are no visual cues at all as to the aircraft’s attitude. The hood is a poor substitute for actual, even at night, since your peripheral vision is so good at picking up motion from the side windows.

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  5. David A Hatcher on Oct 18, 2012

    There is a saying that student pilots use: “One peek is worth a thousand crosschecks!”
    You are paying for the training so don’t cheat yourself by peeking, it won’t help come checkride time! I cut some of my old Jeppsen hood off so I could scan the entire panel without moving my head. FAA had no problem with the modification. I addition to a hood, the US Army further blocks opportunities for “peeking” with a little hinged panel on top of the glare shield (we used poster board in the windshield on the UH1) and a cover in the chin window in the TH67 aka Bell 206BIII. The Army used to do 1/3 of its helicopter instrument training at night.

    I wholeheartedly agree with Koehn on circling approaches at night to minimums.

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  6. Christos E. Flagkakis on Nov 03, 2012

    In my opinion there is nothing wrong doing flight training at night but there are pros and cons for each situation. Doing IFR training at night is going to be very beneficial for the student pilot especially if its not over “lightening” areas but on the other hand flying over the dark lakes and trees anyone can notice the increased risk in case of an unfortunate and sudden emergency such as an engine failure. What I usually do as a flight instructor is most of the training during daylight hours with my student under the hood and make sure that my student clearly understands that picking outside is more or less like cheating himself. I also do about 10 hours of flight training at night so I can evaluate my student’s performance during reduced visibility or if I have the chance to fly in actual and not “risky” IFR I pick that over anything else so in the end of the training I know that my student is confident enough and qualifies to fly IFR. I spend a good amount of time during the ground sessions explaining to the student all about the usage of the Attitude Indicator along with the rest of his instruments and trying to simulate in his/her head how it is going to be in actual IFR so by the time we initiate the training the student is well prepared and approximately has a clue on what to expect and, therefore, there is no need for cheating. Try to make your students understand the importance of knowing the Primary and Secondary attitude instruments for flying based on each situation. e.g. (http://www.kunalmittal.com/flying/AttitudeInstrumentFlying.html). It is worth to be mentioned that the relationship and trust levels between the pilot’s eyes, perceptions and aircraft instruments should be secured.

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