I love flying at night. The lights are beautiful, and it's so peaceful... and you can see other planes from really far away (always a plus in trying to avoid hitting those other planes!)!
I've had a lot of "sunset" flights-- trying to squeeze in lessons after work. We'll head out about an hour before sunset, do our maneuvers, and then come back in to land as it's getting dusky-- or even as it's getting pretty dark. I always trying to convince M to stay out just a little bit longer-- kind of like a kid who wants to shoot one more basket before coming in for the night. (Puh-lease? Just one more landing?!)
Last night, I raced out to the airport trying to get in one more lesson before my second stage check on Sunday. (My flight school does things pretty formally-- we go through three stages in our training-- and each is followed with an official stage check with one of the Asst. Chief Flight Instructors.) I've gone everything I needed for the stage check-- but we had two things left to review (fixes and short-fields). With threatening weather, we decided to skip the fixes-- I think I'll do okay with those... and stay in the pattern to do short-fields. I generally like landings, so that was cool by me.
We flew until past sunset... my favorite! I think I'm finally starting to get the right picture on the shorts... now if I can just keep it in my head! When we came in, Husband met us at the plane-- we planned to get our official night landings started. Weather was still an issue-- so we sat and ate outside, looking at all the planes. Finally, it was officially "night" and we could get started. Nathan went first as he has less experience after dark (almost none), and has the harder schedule to coordinate. M demoed one landing (imagine a piece of plexiglas stretching across the top of the runway lights as your new runway surface). On their second pattern, the rain started. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted!
The funny thing... I didn't mind spending an hour or so sitting outside at the airport in the dark. I just love seeing all those planes and wondering where they've been! And it was a bonus to watch Husband and M flying around overhead.