How do pilots see at night during flight?


How do pilots see at night during flight?

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Starlight, moonlight, street lights, house lights, car lights, beacons, runway lights, landing lights, navigation lights, etc.

Though pilots flying at night will mostly be relying on their instruments.

Military pilots may have additional options for seeing in the dark.

Most important things — other airplanes, runways, and tall structures — have lighting. Cities and highways are also well-lit, which can help with navigation. This is enough to make it possible, though difficult, to fly by sight at night. Most pilots are trained to use instruments, so they don’t even need to see outside the plane.

There are different levels of pilot.

One of the first levels only lets you fly in the daytime with good wether.

The next level lets you fly using all the dials and buttons in the cockpit, called “instrument” flight… because they mostly use the instruments and only look out the window for visual confirmation & landing.

The plane has a special radio that contacts the airport to turn on the runway lights as tgey approach to land. The lights trigger in a sequence that kind of points the pilot to the right path.

The lights blink in sequence on either side of the runway, called “chasing the rabbit”

If you’re flying VFR at night you can use ground lighting like roads and cities to navigate.

If you’re flying IFR, it doesnt really matter because you’re looking at your instruments until you get close to the airport environment, which is very well lit.

The other option is night vision goggles if you’re a helicopter pilot.

One thing you notice right away is the use of dim red lighting in the cabin and to illuminate your instrument panel. This is to preserve your night vision. If you visit a radar control center they also use dim red lighting for the same purpose.