Landings weren’t a biggie. I had no issues on the approach or touchdown (other than my normal flare issues, which are getting better). Everyone told me how hard it was, landing at night, but I didn’t find it any more difficult than a daytime landing.
Flying without the ground reference was a bit more challenging, but that is what they make altimeters and artificial horizons for. Really that wasn’t an issue….so far. I (generally) don’t get vertigo as long as I have a horizon reference, at least so far in my life. If on a boat, as long as I stay on deck I’m fine. It is below deck where my eyes and inner ear disagree that I get vertigo and the resultant nausea. Really, as long as I have even a glass of water to give me a horizon, I’m ok. Other than having to use the field as a reference instead of landmarks (which I should be doing anyway, right?) I had no issues in the pattern.
My only real challenge was the fact that 04N is down with a Nav light issue (again), so I was in 3HA, which, while a 172S, is a Garmin 1000 instrument panel, as opposed to Steam Gauges. I don’t like the altimeter and airspeed tape display, and if I had the panel brightness to where it didn’t interfere with my night vision, it caused issues in reading the two tapes. If I had it bright enough to be able to clearly read the two tapes for altimeter and airspeed (kinda important), I caused issues with my night vision. This may not be an issue during the day, but it is at night.
I think I prefer the steam gauges. Easier and faster to scan, and easier for an old guy to read.
When I buy my own plane, I don’t think that a Garmin panel is gonna be a selling point.
6 more landing. 2 flat, 4 good (one really smooth, and not by simple chance). I’m getting there.
I think the night landings actually helped. Better perspective.
I won’t get to fly again until Monday, so we will see what else I learned and what I forgot.