Helicopter Night Flights
Work Doesn’t Always Stop Once the Sun Goes Down.
Helicopter Night Flights serve a number of purposes
One of the many questions we receive at FairLifts is if we can schedule helicopter night flights for heavy lift or construction services and the answer is always a resounding “yes”. Many individuals are under the misconception that helicopters can't fly at night like airplanes simply because of their general maneuverability and the pilot’s line of sight, however, that is incorrect. While most single engine helicopters lack the technology and advancements needed such as night vision equipment, radar, aircraft lighting, thermal imaging, and infrared instruments, these can all be found in multi-engine and newer model aircraft which includes most the helicopters needed for construction operations.
Why choose Helicopter Night Flights?
FairLifts has access to the right aircraft you need for your helicopter night flight jobs with a worldwide partner network consisting of operators and independent contractors. So when there is an emergency situation and the lights go out, we can schedule a flight out to assist in repairing downed power lines in the night or even conducting surveys in the dark as well. For long range flights that may continue overnight, long range helicopters may be scheduled to conduct the heavy lifting and convey any materials needed through the evening hours to get the cargo where it needs to be and on schedule.
Helicopters are the most versatile aircraft and the need to conduct helicopter operations overnight should never delay productivity. So how are operations conducted? With the implementation of the FAA’s (Federal Aviation Administration) visual and instrument flight rules.
Helicopter VFR and IFR Ratings
When it comes to flying at night the operators and individual pilots we work with are all certified to conduct operations, day and night and even in poor weather. The FAA requires all pilots who participate in operations overnight, from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise, to complete their night flight certification (RAC 421.42) in accordance with VFR, or Visual Flight Rules.
This certification calls for a mandatory 20 hours of instruction including five hours of both dual flight with a two hour flight time and solo flight including ten takeoffs, ten loops and ten landings as well as a minimum of ten hours of instrument flying time in dual flight. After training the pilot will complete qualifications set out by their CFI (Certified Flight Instructor). Once the certification is complete the pilot will have their “day flights only” restriction removed from their license.To fly at night it is also required that pilots have their IFR certification as well. This guarantees night flights can continue should the weather conditions be other than completely clear. This means, that the pilot’s must have full visibility, no precipitation and/or cloud cover and is called “Instrumental meteorological conditions or IMC”. Night flights can also be conducted with the use of night vision goggles however, the pilot will still be required to complete certification for IFR and VFR.