[In behalf of Rnadom, originally posted on 22 Oct 2008.]
I remember when we were in semester two, and towards the end we had to do night flying. Of all the semesters so far in […the school…], most of us would say the first year was the most hectic, with tests on average of once a week, flying to do, self study and our personal lives to juggle, most of us have our hands full. A few other students have their part time jobs after 8-5 in school and it doesnt help but it's their means of providing for themselves.
When we had night flying, usually we would also have that on our study week if the weather was good. This means that we have to stay from 8-5pm, and wait until sun sets or Evening Civil Twilight as we call it, which would be… 7 or 8pm when daylight saving is on. By the time we preflight and get ready for takeoff, it could be 8.30pm. This means that we could have already spent 12 hours in school even before flying an aircraft. It does take its toll. But that's ok because we are dieing to fly and learn and we persevere.
Things take a turn for the worse, however if we have a flight scheduled the next day! Personally I myself, and know a few others, have been scheduled for 9pm night flights, and also scheduled the next morning at 8am for flying too. This throws the IMSAFE model out of the window because we simply do not have enough rest. Typically, if a student gets airborne for night flight at 9pm, he or she would have landed by 10.30pm. By the time covers go on, and all the admin work is done, it could be 10.45pm or 11pm. After a short debrief the student goes home and takes a shower, has "dinner" and it could be past midnight already, having to reach the airport to preflight 30 minutes before a 8am flight means waking up at around 6.30 if the person owns a car and can afford to leave the house late.