Some of the most rewarding and spectacular flights are at night, especially when you are lucky enough to fly over a city that sparkles like Cambridge! In practical terms, this rating can be vital in those long winter months when daylight is so scarce! For the privileges of the Private Pilots Licence to be exercised at night, a Night Qualification is required. This can be achieved during training for the PPL by completing five additional hours night flight time. Most people however undertake the required five hours training after they have completed their PPL.
You may be a little apprehensive about night flying initially, but it is merely a matter of combining the techniques of visual & instrument flying, which have already been learnt, and is no more difficult than day flying in fact, the Night Qualification also happens to be one of the easiest and most straight forward ratings to obtain, which makes it a favourite with newly qualified PPL holders.
The course consists of 5 hours’ flight training (3 hours dual, including 1 hour cross-country navigation) and 5 solo takeoffs and full-stop landings. There is no exam: your qualification will be granted upon satisfactory completion of the training on application to the CAA.
Your Night Rating course will take a minimum of 5 flying hours, and comprises of least 1 hour of cross-country navigation with at least one dual cross-country flight of at least 50 km (27nm) and 5 solo take-offs and 5 solo full-stop landings. The course is likely to be spread across 6 flights.
Once granted, your night qualification will remain valid for the duration of your licence. If you wish to carry passengers at night, you must have completed the appropriate number of both day and night time take offs and landings required by the CAA.