Night Currency, Takeoffs and Landings
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According to 14 CFR 61.57(b) three night takeoffs and landings to a full stop are required to carry passengers at night. However, I would often takeoff during the day and land at night then make two more takeoffs and landings. Is it correct that to meet the letter of the law I'd have to make a third takeoff and fourth landing?

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1516 Posts

@Albert Love
 

Is it correct that to meet the letter of the law I'd have to make a third takeoff and fourth landing?

Third takeoff, yes.

Fourth landing, no – if you had enough gas, you could fly until the sun comes up again and then land, and still have completed the necessary three night takeoffs and three night landings.  But unless you're in Alaska at the right time of year, you're not likely to have that much fuel.

Votes

@Ronald Levy

Only three? In Canada its five takeoffs and landings at night every six months. Personally I like to start just before legal nighttime so that I can practice during the change from day to night just in case I encounter that situation in real life. This is particularly important if you are landing into the setting sun. Then I proceed to do at least five (and usually seven or eight) take offs and landings during night hours. All these are done as stop and go's on a 5,000' runway. If I land long then I back track before the next take off. I also make sure to do at least one no flap landing and one no landing lights landing to get practice in those situations as well. Part of my routine is to always be ready to do a go-around if I don't like the approach. 
 

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1516 Posts

@David Marks
 

@Ronald Levy

Only three? In Canada its five takeoffs and landings at night every six months.  
 

In the USA, it's three within the last 90 days, so you need SIX every six months to remain current.

Votes

@Ronald Levy
 

In the USA, it's three within the last 90 days, so you need SIX every six months to remain current.

Learn something new every day in aviation. I confess I never do the minimum and am quite sure that most night rated pilots don't either. Safety first. It would be nice if our two countries got together on these things but I guess that is a pipe dream.