Chapter 10 Night Operations
Airplane Equipment and Lighting
Airport and Navigation Lighting Aids
Preparation and Preflight
Starting, Taxiing, and Runup
Takeoff and Climb
Orientation and Navigation
Approaches and Landings
Table of Contents
STARTING,TAXIING, AND RUNUP
After the pilot is seated in the cockpit and prior to starting the engine, all items and materials to be used on the flight should be arranged in such a manner that they will be readily available and convenient to use.
Extra caution should be taken at night to assure the propeller area is clear. Turning the rotating beacon ON, or flashing the airplane position lights will serve to alert persons nearby to remain clear of the propeller. To avoid excessive drain of electrical current from the battery, it is recommended that unnecessary electrical equipment be turned OFF until after the engine has been started.
After starting and before taxiing, the taxi or landing light should be turned ON. Continuous use of the landing light with r.p.m. power settings normally used for taxiing may place an excessive drain on the airplane’s electrical system. Also, overheating of the landing light could become a problem because of inadequate airflow to carry the heat away. Landing lights should be used as necessary while taxiing. When using landing lights, consideration should be given to not blinding other pilots. Taxi slowly, particularly in congested areas. If taxi lines are painted on the ramp or taxiway, these lines should be followed to ensure a proper path along the route.
The before takeoff and runup should be performed using the checklist. During the day, forward movement of the airplane can be detected easily. At night, the airplane could creep forward without being noticed unless the pilot is alert for this possibility. Hold or lock the brakes during the runup and be alert for any forward movement.