Operate aircraft in the traffic pattern at night

This unit involves the skills and knowledge required to take off, land and operate an aircraft safely in the traffic pattern at night. Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements are applicable to this unit.


Work must be carried out in compliance with the relevant licence and aircraft rating requirements of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA); relevant airspace control requirements and Night Visual Flight Rules (NVFR); and aircraft control principles, regulations, safety codes, protocols and procedures required to operate aircraft in the traffic pattern at night as part of commercial aircraft activities.

Use for ADF Aviation is to be in accordance with relevant Defence Orders and Instructions and applicable CASA compliance.

Operations are conducted across a variety of operational contexts within the Australian aviation industry.

Work is performed under limited supervision.

This unit of competency is packaged at AQF V.


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1Taxi at night

1.1 Instrument/cockpit lighting are adjusted to an appropriate level for taxiing

1.2 ATC instructions and manoeuvres of the aircraft on the ground at night within the approved movement area as defined by aerodrome ground lighting are complied with

1.3 Aircraft lighting to identify obstructions, other aircraft and taxiway and runway limits is used as required

1.4 Aircraft is taxied at a speed which allows for an adequate lookout to be maintained to avoid obstructions

2Take off at night

2.1 Aircraft is lined up correctly in centre of runway in take-off direction

2.2 Line up checks appropriate to night take-off are completed

2.3 Take-off by reference to flare path/runway lighting and aircraft instruments is executed

2.4 Aircraft is rotated at manufacturers recommended speed

2.5 Climb attitude and control aircraft in climb, after take-off solely by reference to instruments is completed

2.6 Alignment with runway by visual reference and lookout is established and maintained

2.7 After take-off, checks are performed at a safe height

3Land at night, with and without the use of aircraft landing lights

3.1 Circuit entry and pattern are performed with reference to runway environment

3.2 Safe altitude is maintain by reference to aircraft instruments and runway lighting

3.3 Aircraft is safely landed at night with and without landing lights

3.4 After landing checks are performed

4Make go-around

4.1 The need to conduct a go-around is recognised

4.2 Go-around is performed from any point on base and final approach legs

5Activate Pilot Activated Lighting (PAL)

5.1 Appropriate radiotelephone frequency is utilised to activate PAL system when within radio range

5.2 Transmit sequence is utilised to activate PAL system

5.3 Wind indicator lighting is monitored to determine end of activation period

6Manage emergency situations at night

6.1 (In simulated conditions) Aircraft control is maintained

6.2 Emergency situation is managed in accordance with Flight Manual, POH and AIP

6.3 Electrical lighting and power sources are monitored

6.4 Electrical lighting and power source emergency procedures are conducted as appropriate

Required Skills


This describes the essential knowledge and skills and their level required for this unit.

Required knowledge:

Night circuit procedures

Light signals used in the circuit area at night

Colours and patterns of aerodrome lighting

Method of activating an aerodrome frequency response unit with PAL options

Time that PAL remains illuminated

PAL system warning indications that the lights are about to be extinguished

Operation and use of a VASI, PAPI system

Identification of aerodromes with standby power

Electrical system management as recommended in the applicable Flight Manual/POH

Procedures for operating electronic communications equipment

Requirements for completing relevant documentation

Fuel tank capacity and range (where applicable)

Communication equipment checks

Required skills:

Utilise secondary lighting and power sources

Utilise fault finding for system failures

Communicate effectively with others when operating an aircraft in the traffic pattern at night

Read and interpret instructions, regulations, procedures and other information relevant to operating an aircraft in the traffic pattern at night

Interpret and follow operational instructions and prioritise work

Complete documentation related to operating an aircraft in the traffic pattern at night

Operate electronic communication equipment to required protocol

Work collaboratively with others when operating an aircraft in the traffic pattern at night

Adapt appropriately to cultural differences in the workplace, including modes of behaviour and interactions with others

Promptly report and/or rectify any identified problems that may occur when operating an aircraft in the traffic pattern at night in accordance with regulatory requirements and workplace procedures

Implement contingency plans for unexpected events that may arise when operating an aircraft in the traffic pattern at night

Apply precautions and required action to minimise, control or eliminate hazards that may exist while operating an aircraft in the traffic pattern at night

Monitor and anticipate operational problems and hazards and take appropriate action

Monitor work activities in terms of planned schedule

Modify activities dependent on differing workplace contingencies, situations and environments

Work systematically with required attention to detail without injury to self others, or damage to goods or equipment

Adapt to differences in equipment and operating environment in accordance with standard operating procedures

Select and use required personal protective clothing and equipment conforming to industry and OH&S standards

Implement OH&S procedures and relevant regulations

Identify and correctly use equipment required while operating an aircraft in the traffic pattern at night

Evidence Required

The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required knowledge and skills, the range statement and the assessment guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

The evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit must be relevant to and satisfy all of the requirements of the elements and performance criteria of this unit and include demonstration of applying:

the underpinning knowledge and skills

relevant legislation and workplace procedures

other relevant aspects of the range statement

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Performance is demonstrated consistently over a period of time and in a suitable range of contexts

Resources for assessment include:

a range of relevant exercises, case studies and/or other simulated practical and knowledge assessment, and/or

access to an appropriate range of relevant operational situations in the workplace

In both real and simulated environments, access is required to:

relevant and appropriate materials and equipment, and

applicable documentation including workplace procedures, regulations, codes of practice and operation manuals

Method of assessment

Assessment of this unit must be undertaken by a registered training organisation

As a minimum, assessment of knowledge must be conducted through appropriate written/oral tests

Practical assessment must occur:

through activities in an appropriately simulated environment at the registered training organisation, and/or

in an appropriate range of situations in the workplace

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance.

Tasks may be undertaken in:

night VFR conditions

Performance may be demonstrated in:

single engine aircraft

multi engine aircraft

synthetic training device approved by the appropriate authority

Aircraft may include:

fixed wing


other commercial or military aircraft

Crew may include:

single pilot

multi crew

Instruments may be:

fitted flight instruments suitable for NVFR flight

head up display suitable for NVFR flight

Limitations may be imposed by:

local noise abatement requirements and curfews

airspace endorsements

Classes of airspace may be:

as designated by the regulator

restricted and danger areas

military control zones

Air Defence Identification Zones

Emergency situations may include:

engine failure

communication or navigation aid failure

electrical system failure

lighting system failure

Conditions may include:

simulated icing conditions

moderate turbulence

simulated hazardous weather

autopilot/Flight Director

FMS/ other NAV system

simulation of emergency and abnormal procedures

Aerodrome may include

ground lighting

remote of ground lighting

Dependent on the type of organisation concerned and the local terminology used, workplace procedures may include:

company procedures

enterprise procedures

organisational procedures

established procedures

standard operating procedures

Information/documents may include:

relevant sections of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and Civil Aviation Orders

in Defence context, relevant Defence Orders and Instructions

Flight Manual/Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH)

Manual of Standards - Pilot Licensing (MOS-PL)

Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP)

En Route Supplement Australia (ERSA)


operations manuals

approved checklists

workplace procedures and instructions and job specification

induction and training materials

conditions of service, legislation and industrial agreements including workplace agreements and awards

Applicable regulations and legislation may include:

relevant Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and Civil Aviation Orders

in Defence context, relevant Defence Orders and Instructions

relevant state/territory OH&S legislation

relevant state/territory environmental protection legislation

relevant Australian Standards

Performance includes tolerances specified in either of:

relevant licence and aircraft rating requirements of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) such as:

Manual of Standards

relevant Defence documentation such as:

Defence Orders and Instructions

approved curricula and training documentation


Not applicable.

Competency Field

Y - Aircraft Operation and Traffic Management

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.