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Night Time

View solo night flight in a larger map.

Last night I had to build 3 hours of solo (meaning me only) time at night toward my commercial license. I like flying at night. The air is very calm and there are not too many people flying then, which makes it very pleasant and relaxing. I wanted to go to a few airports around here that I've just not been able to get to. Like Eloy has a really nice field but every time I wanted to check it out they were doing too much parachute jumping so I couldn't land. Also I had never landed at the Buckeye airport I've been over just never stopped. So as you can see from my map above I just made a big 3 hour circle.

It was one of the funnest flying I've done in a long time. I really don't know how to describe it just that is was a blast and the perfect night to go flying. I almost didn't land at Buckeye because I couldn't see it. Most airports after the tower closes or if there is no tower has what is called "pilot controlled lighting" meaning just that. How it works is the pilot pushes the mic in mostly 5 or 7 or 9 times (depending on how bright you want the lights) and the lights will come on. [Also side note so if you had a little hand held radio on the airport frequency at night you could turn on the lights at most any airport that has lights by just pushing the "push-to-talk" 5 times. Cool huh.] Well at Buckeye I thought I had clicked the lights on but as the GPS told me I kept getting closer and closer and I just couldn't see the airport. Then the GPS said I flew over and I still couldn't see it. so I made a wide circle to try to find it and all I could see was black. Then just as I was flying beside it I remembered to click the mic again and the light came on. Out of the darkness it looked like an airport just appeared, it was really cool.

just before I took off.


paula said…
You are awesome. How lucky you are to get to do what you love as your work. Most people don't, they settle for something else.
Bill Williams said…
I love flying at night, too. Very relaxing, easy to see what little traffic there is, and usually calm air. The lights of cities are beautiful, too.

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