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 Everybody knows that a commercial pilot must first get a waiver to fly at night. But my question is, do hobbyists fall under the same criteria?  If you're licensed pilot but you're not flying at the time for money can you fly at night without a waiver?   Can a hobbyist that is not a commercial pilot flight at night? 

 Any help to clear this up would be greatly appreciated. 

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9 hours ago, Derrick Ward said:

 Everybody knows that a commercial pilot must first get a waiver to fly at night. But my question is, do hobbyists fall under the same criteria?  If you're licensed pilot but you're not flying at the time for money can you fly at night without a waiver?   Can a hobbyist that is not a commercial pilot flight at night? 

 Any help to clear this up would be greatly appreciated. 

"8. RC night flying requires a lighting system providing the pilot with a clear view of the model’s attitude and orientation at all times. Hand-held illumination systems are inadequate for night flying operations."

http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.PDF

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9 hours ago, Derrick Ward said:

 Everybody knows that a commercial pilot must first get a waiver to fly at night. But my question is, do hobbyists fall under the same criteria?  If you're licensed pilot but you're not flying at the time for money can you fly at night without a waiver?   Can a hobbyist that is not a commercial pilot flight at night? 

 Any help to clear this up would be greatly appreciated. 

Interesting question. Here is what I found from looking on the FAA and AMA websites.

"Option #1. Fly in accordance with the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Public Law 112-95 Section 336). Under this rule, operators must:

  1. Fly for hobby or recreational purposes only
  2. Follow a community-based set of safety guidelines
  3. Fly the UAS within visual line-of-sight
  4. Give way to manned aircraft
  5. Provide prior notification to the airport and air traffic control tower, if one is present, when flying within 5 miles of an airport
  6. Fly UAS that weigh no more than 55 lbs. unless certified by a community-based organization"

Regarding #2 above the AMA provides a set of safety guidelines and I noticed the following at line B-6.

"RC night flying requires a lighting system providing the pilot with a clear view of the model’s attitude and orientation at all times. Hand-held illumination systems are inadequate for night flying operations"

 

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Derrick,

 

Looking at your avatar suggests you're a commercial operator.  Although flying at night is perfectly legal for an amateur enthusiast, the commercial operator that elects to fly at night for recreational purposes puts himself in a delicate position. 

If flying an aircraft that has commercial registration there may be some technicality that might hang you.  If your log book shows that all the flights made with that aircraft up to then were for commercial purposes the noose might get a little tighter.  That may be a good reason to clearly define the type of flights in your log book.  Under no circumstances can you initiate a flight for commercial purposes and change mid flight to a recreational purpose, so if a commercial flight starts near the end of legal daylight you can't suddenly flip to recreational flight to finish out the flight after the legal daylight clock ran out.  If any photos or videos obtained during a night flight were to show up somewhere that provided any kind of consideration with your name attached to them, that lacked a night waiver to have permitted obtaining them, the price could be very high.

Not saying not to do it but use caution and plan appropriately before you do.  You never know when some fine, upstanding law enforcement type that's home for the evening might get perturbed and walk over to collect your information for transfer to the FAA at the start of the morning shift.  The FAA loves technicalities.  Night flying is a lot of fun;)

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On 8/26/2017 at 0:08 PM, k9ric said:

Does anybody provide the "night training" requirement for the waiver?

Check with @Uaviator53. I doubt he provides training to the general public at large but I seem to recall he has the procedure down.

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