PfCO night flying

I am about to commence a night flight under my newly obtained PfCO and was wondering what I would need?

What you would need in terms of what? Refer to your OM and use aids such as additional lighting both on the UAV and at the TO/LP.

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A drone would be a good start :+1:t2:


Confidence, a spotter and a change of underwear is my guess.

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Sometimes sarcasm isn’t needed. Just saying.

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PS. I don’t know where you are, but it won’t be dark in the UK for a few hours yet (!) :eyes:

His profile says where he is - and planning is done beforehand … not 10 seconds before take-off!

For crying out loud - Anybody out there with a sense of humour??? Just saying…

Just checking, but I assume if this is a commercial job your PfCO includes permission for night flights, as it is not included in a standard PfCO, if not then it can’t be done commercially.
If it’s not a job then you don’t need a PfCO for night flights.


Your Ops Manual should have had a whole section about your flying at night procedure to have this in your CAA permission to do so. Have you got your CAA PfCO or just completed the ground school? They are different and the course and flying assessment alone is not a PfCO.


As others have said, if you’re doing this under your PfCO then the first thing you’ll need is for your PfCO to include specific permission for night flights. It’s paragraph 4 on mine:

After that, it’s what you wrote in your Ops Manual; particularly the procedures you have relating specifically to night flights. For the CAA to have granted permission for night-flights, everything else in that paragraph (daylight site survey, lighting requirements, etc) should just be echoing your own procedures anyway.

What lighting would you suggest, I have a P4 standard

If you just need to see the drone from the ground, I’d go Strobon Cree LEDs.

But if you’re trying to illuminate your subject, it’d have to be Lume Cubes.

That goes for any night flying btw, PfCO or recreational, the same applies :+1:t2:

Ok great would this work:

Never seen one of those strobes in action, and it’s three times the price of a Strobon so it wouldn’t be for me.

But if you do buy it, please don’t stick it on the top pointing upwards - that’s the most ridiculous illustration ever… why don’t they show it mounted on the bottom and pointing downwards?! Daft…

And I’ve no idea why they call it an anti-collision light either, it’s not like an aircraft will see it and decide to change course :man_shrugging:

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Very true how does the strobon one work?

You’ll just need to cable tie or velcro it / them in place.

BTW, there is a GADC flytron discount scheme in place, check out #members-only for details.

Remember that the requirements under your PfCO (and, indeed, for a recreational flight) have nothing to do with what you need to get good photos/videos; they’re about conducting a safe flight.

What lighting you may need for a night flight will depend on your site surveys, taking into consideration that, at a minimum, you need to:

  • maintain VLOS for the flight
  • have visibility of all potential hazards in the flight area
  • be certain your landing area(s) is/are safe to use

Maybe after seeing the site in the day (and ideally a second visit at night) you’re confident you can do all of that, in the dark, without any additional lighting. Maybe a small strobe on the drone will be enough. Or maybe you’ll need some industrial lighting units on the ground and additional spotters.

Ultimately, only you can decide whether a flight can be carried out safely, with or without extra lighting.

Yes I totally understand what you are saying luckily I am able to do my first night flight with Phantom Flight school who I obtained my PfCO with.