Night Flying – UAV Hands-On Flight School with Video and Data Acquisition Training (1-day workshop)


This workshop includes a certificate of night flight training, which can be used to expedite your FAA waiver.

Seventy-two percent of our flying information comes through the eye and the eye is easily fooled at night. This is compounded by the inexperienced pilot alternating views between a tabled/lighted display and the position of the UAV in the sky. Night flying has a higher accident rate than identical day flying, both in UAV and manned aviation. Why? Depth perception is severely distorted, as is reaction time. There are also visual illusions that need to be recognized and mitigated. This session will provide information that will allow pilots to sidestep these challenges, while properly assessing and managing the risks associated with night flight (as waived per Part 107.29). You’ll also learn the foundation of applying for a COW/COA for night flight from an experienced night-flight pilot.

After a comprehensive theory session, we will board the bus and go to the night flight location for some practical experience. We will discuss the many different types of visual illusions that commonly occur at night. Anticipating and staying aware of them is usually the best way to avoid them. In this practical hands-on class, we will discuss visual illusions as well as best practices for night flying. We will cover Autokinesis, False Horizon, and Night Landing Illusions and how to avoid them.  We will also discuss acclimating your eye for night flight.  We will also cover the use of lights to illuminate our subjects and how to avoid “light contamination” in our eyes.

Classroom theory on night flight. Includes learning about the anatomy of the eye, illusions, and how to better acclimate to night flight. We will cover best ways to write your FAA waiver application.

Course Outline

Starting time – Afternoon, so that the flying portion occurs at night

Location overview

  • On-site walkthrough of potential obstacles/issues
  • Safety & Emergency procedures (satellites)
  • Equipment check, site setup, and basic flight controls

Equipment Check

  • Equipment check
  • Location setup
  • Test flights
  • Lights – How to use them and where to mount them
  • Getting the best shots
  • Using the light to your advantage
  • Flying techniques

Video and footage acquisition

  • Camera techniques

Q & A

GSA Schedule: 47QTCA19D008F