After completing the PPL Course, many people carry on and start IMC or Night Ratings. At present, PPL Holder without these ratings may not fly in IMC conditions or at night, therefore the addition of these ratings to a private license adds a greater degree of flexibility to the pilot, and improves their skill base.
For PPL holders to fly as PIC at night they must hold a valid Night Rating.
The Night Rating itself requires 5 hours night flying, consisting of at least 3 hours dual instruction (including 1 hour night navigation) and 5 solo take-offs and landings.
The first flight is night familiarization followed by night circuits simulating possible emergencies e.g. electrical failure. Once they reach solo standard the student then completes 5 take-offs and landings solo. Finally, the night navigation is conducted as either a local dual sortie, followed by solo navigation to finish, or if the student prefers a dual land away.
There is no flight test or written examination required for the issue of a Night Rating.
In order to keep a Night Rating valid the holder must have 3 take-offs and landings in the previous 90 days. One take-off and landing must be at night.