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VFR flying during 24 hour nights, Northern AK


Mission, TX
Something to consider for daytime VFR pilots and just a point of interest for non Alaska pilots that are interested in what flying is like over our beautiful state, especially the very remote bush.

Picture this situation: in areas north of the Arctic Circle during the winter, there is a period of time that the sun never raises above the horizon and the further north a person is, the longer that period is to a point at Barrow, the sun does not raise above the horizon for some 3 months. Of course during the summer it is daytime 24 hours per day for three months.

In the Barrow area, the amount of daylight changes about 15 minutes per day for 9 months out of the year. As I recall, the change in Nebr was something like 3 minutes per day.

How does a student pilot receive any instruction in north Alaska in the winter?

The Alaska pilots will have to correct me on this since I am sure but it seems like I remember it is something like 1 hour or more hours of legal twilight before sunrise and after sunset. Seems like at Barrow it was around 1 1/2 hour giving a three hour window for VFR daytime flying durring the winter. In southeast Nebr, maybe 1/2 hour on each end?

This really got to me in Hawai'i because there, when the sun went down, it was dark almost immediately . Same in Costa Rica. Sure helped us single guys though since it got dark real fast on the beach in front of our Resort on Maui. :wink: