Night Rating (1)
The next step in your pilot training, and one that improves your ability to fly in reduced visibility, is to obtain a night rating. This allows you to conduct or continue a flight during the hours of darkness and the benefit is obvious in terms of being less restricted when planning and executing your particular flight.
At this stage, you will be aware of your dependency on being able to see the outside surroundings, particularly the horizon, while controlling an aircraft in flight. At night, these visual cues are greatly reduced, or even completely absent and therefore you need to interpret and rely on the instruments in the aircraft. Similarly the cues you have been using to assist you when landing are also different, so additional landing practice at night is required.
Requirements for the issue of a night rating:
1.You must have a valid Private Pilots; License (PPL).
2. You will have to complete 10 hours of Instrument Flight time, of which 5 may be carried out in an approved simulator, and the balance in an aircraft. This is actually done during the day, as the emphasis is on learning to interpret instrument indications and control the aircraft purely by reference to these instruments.
3. The law requires a minimum of 5 take offs and landings by night, as well as a night cross-country flight of at least 150 NM’s with 2 full stop landings at two separate airfields away from base.
4. A basic instrument flight test will be required, conducted by a Grade 1 or 2 flight instructor. This takes around 1 hour, and may be included in the mandatory 10 hours instrument training.
5. Once the requirements have been met, an application form is completed. This form, together with the required fee, is taken to the SA-CAA, for the night rating to be included in your license.