Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

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SRCrowne
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Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by SRCrowne »

Hello everyone!

This is my first post on these forums, so I'll start with a real short introduction about myself. Skip the following paragraph if you'd just like to get to the question.

I'm a newly-minted PPL currently flying out of the CYCC-to-CST3 general region. I have always wanted to fly taildraggers, but I was disappointed with the extremely low availability of rentals in my area. So, in the spirit of adventure, I decided that the only way to do fulfill my dream was to purchase an old taildragger. As soon as I finished my training at CSS3, I found a friend with whom to share a plane with, and we bought an Aeronca Champ 7DC together.

I got into a discussion with my mechanic about the capabilities of this plane, specifically, whether it can fly Night VFR as-is, or if it could be made to do so.

The aircraft has landing and taxi lights, position lights (nav lights), and all the equipment listed in 605.16 (1) (a)-(j).
In 605.16 (1) (k), it states the necessity for:
(k) position and anti-collision lights that conform to the Aircraft Equipment and Maintenance Standards.
I asked whether the aircraft needed a beacon/strobes (anti-collision lights) to my AME, and he said his feeling was that since the aircraft was certified without them, and clearly intended for night operation due to the other installed lights, then it MIGHT not need them. (?!)

Another instructor I asked gave a similar response. :? I have tried contacting TC, but who knows when they'll get back to me.

So, any thoughts on the matter and what my options might be?

EDIT: And just as a note, I am only contemplating Night VFR in fair weather, moon-bright nights; I understand legalities aside, a Champ is far from the ideal plane for things like long XC night flights.
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Last edited by SRCrowne on Mon Nov 09, 2020 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ahramin
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by ahramin »

I think the list in the CARs is overriding. If you had a beacon that didn't meet the current requirements that would be a different story but with no blinking light, you clearly don't meet the requirements of 605.16 (1) (k). If all that mattered were the rules in place when the aircraft was built, the list of required equipment would be in part V, not part VI.
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Heliian
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by Heliian »

Yes, you need a beacon or strobe.

How about instruments and lighting? Do you have a lit panel?
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by SRCrowne »

Heliian wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 2:25 pm Yes, you need a beacon or strobe.

How about instruments and lighting? Do you have a lit panel?
There is a light that illuminates the panel as a whole (though weak). Is that sufficient?
Instruments right now are a directional gyro, turn-and-slip indicator, VSI, ASI, altimeter. (We'll probably add an AI in the future.)
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by ahramin »

Ideally you want the maximum amount of information with the minimum amount of light. In other words only the things you need to see are lit up at any one time (and the switches or knobs for the light controls to the other stuff :)). I've flown with a panel illuminated by a single lamp. It's not ideal but it works fine (until the bulb dies).

You definitely want to spend some time in your cockpit in the dark going through a practice flight to see what things you can and can't see. Regardless of how it works out, I highly recommend having a headlamp available that you can easily reach with one hand.
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by challenger_nami »

I have seen commercially operated Navajos in busy international airports operating NIGHT VFR/IFR flights without any beacons/strobes.

if the aircraft was certified before the CARs relating to the Beacons/Strobes kicked in, then that aircraft model got grandfathered.
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by photofly »

The answer is all in the regulations.
position and anti-collision lights that conform to the Aircraft Equipment and Maintenance Standards.
Anyone think to look in the Aircraft Equipment and Maintenance Standards? No? Didn't think so.
625.16 Power-driven Aircraft - Night VFR
(1) The position lights and anti-collision lights referred to in CAR 605.16(1)(k) shall meet the requirements set out in Schedule 1 of Appendix I of this standard, and shall:

(a) comply with the standards of light distribution, intensity and colour, and the flashing characteristics, where applicable, in accordance with the Airworthiness Manual;

(b) be installed in accordance with the requirements set out in Chapter 551 of the Airworthiness Manual; and

(c) not cause glare or other annoyance to a flight crew member to the extent that the person's ability to perform duties safely is affected.
4. Anti-collision light 1 or more Red, White or Red/White segmented flashing light (NOTE: Each flashing light, when viewed from a distance, shall exhibit the flashing characteristics specified in the Airworthiness Manual). from a source, or sources, located in accordance with the requirements set out in the Airworthiness Manual . In all directions within 30° above and 30° below the horizontal plane of the aircraft in accordance with the requirements set out in the Airworthiness Manual.
Nothing about grandfathering, and anyway, it's not an aircraft certification thing, it's an equipment thing. Different.
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by Big Pistons Forever »

challenger_nami wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:16 pm I have seen commercially operated Navajos in busy international airports operating NIGHT VFR/IFR flights without any beacons/strobes.

if the aircraft was certified before the CARs relating to the Beacons/Strobes kicked in, then that aircraft model got grandfathered.
Sigh. Flying aircraft that do not meet the CAR's equipment requirements is not "grandfathering" it is just ignorant.
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by CpnCrunch »

Big Pistons Forever wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:09 pm
challenger_nami wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:16 pm I have seen commercially operated Navajos in busy international airports operating NIGHT VFR/IFR flights without any beacons/strobes.

if the aircraft was certified before the CARs relating to the Beacons/Strobes kicked in, then that aircraft model got grandfathered.
Sigh. Flying aircraft that do not meet the CAR's equipment requirements is not "grandfathering" it is just ignorant.
From what I can tell, the anti-collision light requirements are grandfathered in the USA. I assumed that would be the case in Canada, but from what I can tell it seems to work differently here, which is a bit weird:

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/med ... 20-30B.pdf

https://tc.canada.ca/en/corporate-servi ... tions-cars

So, if I'm interpreting things correctly, it looks like in the USA you can in fact fly without any anti-collision lights whatsoever if the type certificate is from prior to 16 May 1953. Whether or not there is a separate FAR requiring lights at night, I don't know. In Canada there just seems to be a minimum requirement for all aircraft...unlike the USA, no strobes at all are required, even if the aircraft is manufacturer after 1971, but all aircraft do require basic anticollision lights.
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by SRCrowne »

CpnCrunch wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:10 pm
Big Pistons Forever wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:09 pm
challenger_nami wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:16 pm I have seen commercially operated Navajos in busy international airports operating NIGHT VFR/IFR flights without any beacons/strobes.

if the aircraft was certified before the CARs relating to the Beacons/Strobes kicked in, then that aircraft model got grandfathered.
Sigh. Flying aircraft that do not meet the CAR's equipment requirements is not "grandfathering" it is just ignorant.
From what I can tell, the anti-collision light requirements are grandfathered in the USA. I assumed that would be the case in Canada, but from what I can tell it seems to work differently here, which is a bit weird:

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/med ... 20-30B.pdf

https://tc.canada.ca/en/corporate-servi ... tions-cars

So, if I'm interpreting things correctly, it looks like in the USA you can in fact fly without any anti-collision lights whatsoever if the type certificate is from prior to 16 May 1953. Whether or not there is a separate FAR requiring lights at night, I don't know. In Canada there just seems to be a minimum requirement for all aircraft...unlike the USA, no strobes at all are required, even if the aircraft is manufacturer after 1971, but all aircraft do require basic anticollision lights.
That is very interesting! Then it would be possible for an aircraft flying legally at night in the US to not be allowed to enter Canada until civil sunrise, which is odd. (Assuming foreign aircraft are subject to the CARs in the same way, which may or not be true, but it may be the case.)
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by PilotDAR »

SRCrowne, PM sent....
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by PilotDAR »

Then it would be possible for an aircraft flying legally at night in the US to not be allowed to enter Canada until civil sunrise,
A certified aircraft which is compliant in its nation of registry would generally be accepted in another nation by reciprocal agreement. Similar to some provinces and states require a license plate front and back, others just back, though any are accepted in the other jurisdiction.
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by challenger_nami »

PilotDAR wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:42 pm
Then it would be possible for an aircraft flying legally at night in the US to not be allowed to enter Canada until civil sunrise,
A certified aircraft which is compliant in its nation of registry would generally be accepted in another nation by reciprocal agreement. Similar to some provinces and states require a license plate front and back, others just back, though any are accepted in the other jurisdiction.
Example:
ADS-B is a requirement in US Airspace.
ADS-B is Not a requirement in Canadian Airspace.

Is a Canadian registered aircraft which is NOT ADS-B equipped... able to freely fly in the US Airspace, land there, and then fly back to Canada?




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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by PilotDAR »

Is a Canadian registered aircraft which is NOT ADS-B equipped... able to freely fly in the US Airspace, land there, and then fly back to Canada?
Okay, I'll play for a minute....

I did write:
would generally be accepted
Just in case someone on the extreme wanted to cite some other example to try to show me up. Now I'm certainly not an expert at ADS-B requirements, but, I expect that as long as the Canadian aircraft does not enter US airspace for which ADS-B is required, ADS-B would not be required! That's what the FAA told me when I inquired a while back. I expect it's similar to a US aircraft visiting Canada without Mode C, just don't enter that airspace! But, don't plan your US flight with/without ADS-B based upon what I say, I'm not an airspace expert.
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by CpnCrunch »

challenger_nami wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:49 pm

Example:
ADS-B is a requirement in US Airspace.
ADS-B is Not a requirement in Canadian Airspace.

Is a Canadian registered aircraft which is NOT ADS-B equipped... able to freely fly in the US Airspace, land there, and then fly back to Canada?




.
No, the ADS-B requirement definitely applies to Canadian aircraft flying in the USA.
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by challenger_nami »

Big Pistons Forever wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:09 pm
challenger_nami wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:16 pm I have seen commercially operated Navajos in busy international airports operating NIGHT VFR/IFR flights without any beacons/strobes.

if the aircraft was certified before the CARs relating to the Beacons/Strobes kicked in, then that aircraft model got grandfathered.
Sigh. Flying aircraft that do not meet the CAR's equipment requirements is not "grandfathering" it is just ignorant.
@BigPistons,
I am just the messenger. Please don’t shoot me.

I agree that an aircraft without anti collision lights at night, is not as safe as it can be.

But the regulators do Grandfather regulations, for whatever reason.

As pointed out above, Grandfathering of Anti Collision Beacons for aircraft Certified before August 1971 is quite clear in USA (FAA)

As some of us know, Minister of Transport here in Canada does grant exemptions to many of the requirements.
What the OP needs to do is to write to Transport Canada and request an exemption. It might get accepted. That is ONLY IF installing a beacon/strobe is not practical for him/her.
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Last edited by challenger_nami on Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by photofly »

A Canadian aircraft not ADS-B equipped has exactly the same freedoms to fly in the US as a US aircraft not ADS-B equipped. You can fly almost anywhere you want, just not in airspace where ADS-B is required.

CAR605 makes it clear to which aircraft the equipment requirements apply:
605.01 (1) This Subpart applies to
(a) persons operating Canadian aircraft other than ultra-light aeroplanes, hang gliders or remotely piloted aircraft; and
(b) persons operating foreign aircraft in Canada, other than remotely piloted aircraft, if those persons are Canadian citizens, permanent residents or corporations incorporated by or under the laws of Canada or a province.

(2) The following requirements apply to persons operating foreign aircraft, other than persons referred to in paragraph (1)(b), while those aircraft are operated in Canada:
(a) the requirement to carry a flight authority on board the aircraft in accordance with section 605.03;
(b) the requirement that an aircraft be equipped with transponder and automatic pressure-altitude reporting equipment in accordance with section 605.35;
(c) the requirement that an aircraft be equipped with one or more ELTs in accordance with section 605.38; and
(d) radiocommunication and radio navigation equipment requirements that are specific to the aircraft and types of flight referred to in sections 605.14 to 605.21.
Foreign pilots operating foreign aircraft in Canada are not required to comply with the equipment requirements, and don't need strobes or a beacon under Canadian law. Canadian pilots operating the same foreign aircraft in Canada, do.

Both foreign and Canadian pilots operating foreign aircraft in Canada need an ELT, a mode C transponder in transponder airspace, and the appropriate radio equipment.
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by PilotDAR »

As some of us know, Minister of Transport does grant exemptions to many of the CARs.
This is true, I have requested and received two exemptions over the years (both for noise exemptions for prop changes on older planes). The process begins with paying an application fee which is about twice the application fee for a serialized STC, and thereafter doing about that amount of work to create the submission - to make a plane less compliant with present standards.

In the case of night lighting, and considering the ease of installation of LED Nav/strobe units, it's easier to get an approval and install the proper equipment.
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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by challenger_nami »

PilotDAR wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:37 pm
As some of us know, Minister of Transport does grant exemptions to many of the CARs.
In the case of night lighting, and considering the ease of installation of LED Nav/strobe units, it's easier to get an approval and install the proper equipment.
+1



Just in case someone on the extreme wanted to cite some other example to try to show me up.
I was not intending to show you up. It was a valid point.



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Re: Flying Night VFR on an Aeronca Champ 7DC?

Post by PilotDAR »

I was not intending to show you up. It was a valid point.
Thank you for your courtesy, but I don't agree that drifting the topic with the introduction of ADS-B, in a discussion about night lighting requirements, is a valid point in this context. Doing so takes the discussion away from the topic that the OP wished to discuss with no benefit.

In the mean time, the OP may have found the answer he/she needed, despite the distraction.
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