Safety


Aircraft safety is of concern to manufacturers, pilots and passengers. The International Civil Aviation Organization has created an international safety oversight audit programme. This aircraft safety programme means that regular, compulsory and systematic safety checks must be conducted by the ICAO on contracting states. Audits are conducted on personnel licenses, aircraft operation and airworthiness.

Practical Tips for VFR Night Flying

Pilots qualified to fly at night can enjoy more time in the air, but there is also less traffic and turbulence, not to mention fantastic views of city lights. In the northern latitudes, flying beneath the Aurora Borealis is an unforgettable experience. Night flying is exciting, but it comes with more risks than pilots face in daylight. For this reason, extra training is required, but even experienced night flyers should keep these things in mind:

Fly at least 1,000 feet above obstacles and the minimum elevation over terrain specified on your map.

Because you only use landing lights when landing, they will go out when you need them the most. Practice landing without the lights until you are proficient at not using them.

The risk of hypoxia increases when flying above 5,000 feet at night and review the symptoms so that you can recognize them immediately.

Have at least one backup light, preferably on your person. When the batteries die in your flashlight or headlamp, if your secondary source is out of reach in your flight bag, it doesn¡¦t count as a backup. Keep all lights dimmed and take care to preserve your night vision.

If possible, begin your flight shortly after official darkness so you can complete your pre-flight in daylight when it is easier to spot problems.

In addition to all the reasons why you should not fly a straight-in approach to an uncontrolled airport in daylight, you have another reason at night– you might not have the right airport. Visual identification is that much harder in darkness and before you commit to a landing, you should verify you have the right airport and runway.

Determine beforehand if your destination and alternate airports have runway lights and if they are pilot-activated.

The risk of spatial disorientation increases significantly at night. For example, ground-based lights and stars can merge and fool you into deviating from straight-and-level flight. Though you¡¦re flying VFR, you should frequently compare your outside visual reference to the instruments. Default to the instruments if the two do not agree.

Take offs and landings are more challenging at night because the ground seems lower than it actually is. This means that avoiding obstacles and negotiating the glide path can be more difficult. Monitor your descent rate and use VASI/PAPI lights when available.

Use a slow and steady motion when turning your head to minimize risk of disorientation.

Airplanes and Safety Regulations

Countries will have their own aircraft safety regulations which include a set of standards for aircraft inspection. Aircraft inspection cycles are set out in different ways. The inspection cycles for aircraft safety may be set on the number of take offs and landings or by the number of hours flown. Usually by the time an aircraft has flown 1000 hours the plane is just about disassembled and rebuilt. All aircraft safety maintenance must be documented. Those individuals responsible for the safe functioning of aircraft are given extensive aircraft safety maintenance training.