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Aircraft equipment for night VFR

Radio communication systems

Night VFR
Classes A, C, D, E, G
Communication requirements
VHF communications systems must be capable of communication on all  VHF frequencies required to meet the reporting and broadcast requirements  of ENR 1.1 (see page 3.21)

Source: AIP GEN 1.5


Flight notification

Flight categoryClass of operationType of operationSummary of flight notification options
IFRAll classesAll operationsFull flight details
VFR [alt]RPT and CHTRAll operationsSARTIME or flight note
VFRAWK and PVTOver-water flightsSARTIME or flight note
In designated remote areasSARTIME or flight note
At night proceeding beyond 120 nm from the aerodrome of departureSARTIME or flight note
VFR [alt]AWK and PVTAll other operationsSARTIME, flight note or  no notification
Submission of flight details at least 30 minutes before ETD is recommended.


Radio navigation systems

Type of operation
Night VFR
System number
System type
In this table GNSS refers to equipment certified to (E) TSO- C129 (E) TSO- C145, (E) TSO- C146, (E) TSO- C196a, as determined by CASA

Source: AIP GEN 1.5



The following lighting equipment is required for night VFR flight (CAO 20.18 Appendix V, CAR 174A):

  • Instrument illumination

Illumination for all instruments and equipment, used by the flight crew, that are essential for the safe operation of the aircraft. The illumination shall be such that:

  • all illuminated items are easily readable or discernible, as applicable
  • its direct or reflected rays are shielded from the pilot’s eyes
  • its power supply is so arranged that in the event of the failure of the normal source of power, an alternative source is immediately available
  • it emanates from fixed installations.


  • Intensity control

A means of controlling the intensity of the illumination of instrument lights, unless it can be demonstrated that non-dimmed instrument lights are satisfactory under all conditions of flight likely to be encountered.

  • Landing lights

Two landing lights except that, in accordance with the provisions of CAR 308, aircraft engaged in private and aerial work operations and charter operations not carrying passengers for hire and reward are exempt from this requirement, provided that one landing light is fitted.

  • Passenger compartment lights

Lights in all passenger compartments.

  • Pilots’ compartment lights

A means of lighting the pilots’ compartment to provide illumination adequate for the study of maps and the reading of flight documents.

  • Position and anti-collision lights

Equipment for displaying the lights prescribed in CAR 196

  • Emergency lighting

Emergency lighting and a shock-proof electric torch for each crew member at the crew member station.

Navigation lights CAR 196

Unless CASA otherwise directs, an aeroplane in flight or operating on the manoeuvring area of a land aerodrome will display the following navigation lights:

  • an unobstructed red light projected above and below the horizontal plane through an angle from dead ahead to 110° port
  • an unobstructed green light projected above and below the horizontal plane through an angle from dead ahead to 110° starboard
  • an unobstructed white light projecting above and below the horizontal plane rearward through an angle of 140°, equally distributed on the port and starboard sides.

Unless CASA otherwise directs, navigation lights shall be steady lights

Unless CASA otherwise directs, an aeroplane in flight or operating on the manoeuvring area of a land aerodrome will display, in addition to the navigation lights, an anti-collision light consisting of a flashing red light visible in all directions within 30° above and 30° below the horizontal plane of the aeroplane.

Aircraft navigation lights


Where the lights are flashing lights, the aircraft:

Where the lights are flashing lights, the aircraft:

  • shall display an additional flashing white light visible in all directions and
  • may display an additional flashing red rear light

Unless CASA directs otherwise, wing-tip clearance lights comprising steady lights of the appropriate colours must be displayed if the distance of the navigation lights from the wing-tip is more than 2 m.

At an aerodrome used or available for use in night flying operations, an aircraft
parked on or adjacent to the movement area shall be clearly illuminated or lit, unless
the area it occupies is marked by obstruction lights.


The flight and navigational instruments required for night VFR operations are (CAO 20.18 Appendix IV):

  • an airspeed indicating system
  • a sensitive altimeter
  • a direct reading magnetic compass, or a remote indicating compass and a standby direct reading magnetic compass
  • an accurate timepiece indicating the time in hours, minutes and seconds, except that this may be omitted if it is carried by the pilot or navigator
  • an outside air temperature indicator
  • an attitude indicator (artificial horizon)
  • a heading indicator (directional gyroscope)
  • a turn and slip indicator, except that only a slip indicator is required when a second attitude indicator usable through flight attitudes of 360° of pitch and roll is installed
  • a means of indicating whether the power supply to the gyroscopic instruments is working satisfactorily.

Alternate static source

The altimeter and airspeed indicator must be capable of being connected to either a normal or an alternate static source, but not both sources simultaneously.

Alternatively, they can be connected to a balanced pair of flush static ports.

Duplicated gyro power source

For night VFR charter the attitude indicator, heading indicator and turn and slip indicator will have duplicated sources of power supply, unless the turn and slip indicator or the second attitude indicator specified above has a source of power independent of the power operating other gyroscopic instruments. Note that these duplicated sources of power are not required for aeroplanes engaged in private and aerial work night VMC operations.

A gyro-magnetic type of remote indicating compass also meets the requirement for a heading indicator specified above provided that such installation complies with the duplicated sources of power supply requirements of the previous paragraph.

Serviceability of instruments and equipment CAO 20.18 (10)

All instruments and equipment fitted to an aircraft shall be serviceable prior to take-off unless:

  • flight with unserviceable instruments or equipment has been approved by CASA
  • the unserviceability is permitted under the provisions of a permissible unserviceability schedule, or
  • the unserviceable instruments or equipment are not required under the regulations.

Where flight is conducted with unserviceable instruments or equipment, the unserviceable instruments or equipment shall be prominently placarded ‘Unserviceable’ or removed from the aircraft.

A charter, aerial work or private operator may elect to have a permissible unserviceability schedule. In the case of charter or aerial work operators, the permissible unserviceability schedule shall be incorporated in the operator’s operations manual.

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