My First Night Flight

This week, I went on my first night flight! I could not have asked for a more perfect night! It was nice, clear, and smooth with very little wind! We went on a short little cross country and worked on getting places by using the VORs. We took off from KCMI off of runway 22 and flew the 320 degree radial of the CMI VOR for 23 miles and intercepted the 230 degree radial of the PNT VOR and tracked that inbound (050 degrees). After reaching the RBS VOR, we then used the GPS to navigate “direct” back to KCMI for 5 full stop landings. It is important that when putting the airport code or VOR code that you know the difference between them. For example, if I were to enter in KCMI, that would take me to the airport. To go to the VOR, I would enter in CMI. We are lucky at KCMI , because it would not make much of a difference because the VOR is on the airport grounds. For airports like KDEC, the VOR is a few miles from the airport so if you put in for the VOR when you are trying to go to the airport, you will be off track quite a bit. Not all VORs are even associated with an actual airport like the RBS VOR. Landing at night was really different. Your depth perception is not as accurate as it is in the day time. It is also important that you cone to a complete stop before taking off at night versus day time when you can just touch the ground and take back off again. Most of my landings were pretty decent, but one thing that scared me was flying over the golf course where I knew there were a lot of trees, but all you can see is a whole lot of dark nothing. If anyone feels like they have too much money in their pockets, don’t be afraid to visit  and buy me an airplane!

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