20 Things You May Not Know About Night Flying
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An engine failure at night isn't any more likely than in daytime, but there are few hard-and-fast rules for handling one. Forced landings take on a whole new level of difficulty when you can't see where you're landing. The old joke used to be: If the engine quits and you're forced to land into a black hole, turn on the landing light for the flare. If you don't like what you see, turn it off. These days, GPS's nearest-airport function has relegated the problem of finding the ground academic, since you can interrogate the system to learn the exact elevation at any point. If you did your preflight preparation correctly, you should know what local ground elevation is below. Most experienced night pilots agree the smartest idea is to fly toward something as bright as possible, so you can at least see what you're about to hit.