It’s a common trend amongst anxious flyers, if the sun isn’t going to be out for their flight, they will either not go, or be anxiety stricken for the entire flight. I can understand the anxiety that may come along with the thoughts of flying at night, however, I also feel there is a disconnect in knowledge, and because of this, many will fear night flying.
How will the pilots navigate?
The pilots navigate the aircraft the same way they do whether they are flying during the daytime, in the rain, or in the clouds. Navigation is solely based on the navigational instruments within the airplane – this means that the in terms of the pilots, it doesn’t matter if its daytime, nighttime, or if there is a big piece of cardboard blocking the windshield of the plane, the pilots are navigating it by referencing the flight instruments. This is an unknown for most people, because many will commonly associate flying a plane with driving a car. While driving a car, if you can’t see as well out the window, it becomes an unsafe situation. However, cars do not have complex instrumentation that will allow them to drive the same, no matter what the conditions are outside.
How will the pilots see rain or storms?
The same way a meteorologist knows that rain is on the way, planes are equipped with radar systems much like the ones that are on the ground. If there is rain or storms out in front of you, the plane’s radar system will show the pilots this information as much as 300 miles prior to being near it.
Does the body react differently at night?
Yes, believe it or not it does in some ways. Most importantly, for pilots, the eyes react differently to daytime/nighttime. Your eyes are a lot more sensitive to light at night, and for this reason, pilots have to allow their eyes to have up to 30 minutes of night adaptation. For this reason, if you were able to see the cockpit at night, you would see that the lights on the instrument panel are basic colors, and they are very dim, this allows the pilots to maintain their night vision for the flight.
How will the pilot find the airport at night?
Aside from the airports being lit up like a Christmas tree, once again, navigation is all based on satellite, and ground based navigational aids. These systems will take the pilot to the airport, even if they can’t see outside. With this, it is very hard to NOT find the airport.
To learn more about various aspects of flying, visit FlyHome Fear of Flying Relief Courses