Night flight qualifications


Night Flight Qualifications (NFQ)

General description

Anyone wishing to fly later than 30 minutes after sunset requires a night flight qualification. The prerequisite for training is possession of a private pilot’s license (PPL A). There is a theoretical and practical briefing with an authorized flight instructor. In the end, you don’t need an exam. The flight school only has to issue a certificate of successful completion of the briefing.

The theoretical briefing covers the following topics:

  • The basics of flying at night
  • Airfield lighting incl. Approach and runway lighting
  • Obstruction lighting
  • Meaning of lights of other aircraft
  • Special features for approach and landing (including glide angle lighting system (VASIS) and precision glide angle lighting (PAPI))
  • Estimating speed and distances
  • Approach Light System
  • Review of the instruments

Rounds at night

  • Rolling onto the slopes
  • Visual reference aids during the start control run
  • Use of the instruments
  • Circuit
  • Aligning the aircraft – reference to runway lighting
  • Lighting
  • Start of approach and runway lighting
  • Traffic pattern and airspace observation
  • Positioning of the aircraft
  • Different slope lighting and VASI (or PAPI)
  • Flying the correct approach path
  • Climb after overflight
  • Approach and landing
  • Alignment, lateral approach section and final approach
  • Current wind influences
  • Use of the landing lights
  • Float out and touch down
  • Roll out
  • Leaving the piste – speed control
  • Missed approach

Night flight navigation

  • Selection of terrain features that are visible at night
  • Beacon
  • Influence of cockpit lighting on the colors of aeronautical charts
    Use of radio aids
    Influence of moonlight on visibility at night
  • Focus on maintaining a “minimum safety altitude”
  • Alternative airports – limited availability
  • Limited detection of weather deterioration
  • Procedure for loss of orientation

Emergencies at night

  • Radio failure
  • Failure of the piste lighting system
  • Failure of the aircraft’s landing lights
  • Failure of the aircraft interior lighting
  • Night flight
  • Failure of the aircraft’s position lights
  • Failure of the complete electrical system
  • Start abort
  • Engine failure
  • Procedure in the event of an obstacle on the slope

The practical training

At least five hours of night flight training on airplanes must be included:

  • 5 take-offs and landings with instructor
  • 5 take-offs and landings solo until the aircraft comes to a complete stop
  • 2 cross-country flights