The FAA will depict the runway lighting on the airport charts, and in the airport facility directory (A/FD) the specifics of the airport lighting will be spelled out. Some of the lighting specified in the AF/D include:
- ALS - Approach Lighting System
- MALSR - Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System With Runway Alignment Indicator Lights
- PAPI - Precision Approach Path Indicator
- PCL - Pilot Controlled Lighting
- REIL - Runway End Indicator Lights
If someone has been flying VFR at night, the navigation is probably very similar to instrument navigation. Radio aids are usually used to locate specific places, or distance. The cockpit isn't conducive to much lighting, so the nav systems should have dimmed lighting as well, so the pilot doesn't hamper their night vision acuity.
There are various schemes that can be used to identify landmarks at night. Looking for local landmarks can help (IE 2 miles south of the city). Using the pilot controlled lighting, is another trick, click 3 or 5 times on the CTAF of the desired airport, and see if the lights change. If the visibility is lower than about 5 miles, VFR conditions exist, but VFR navigation will not be suitable.
Flying at night, it may be desirable to use oxygen. The eyes work hard all the time, but especially at night, they need all the help they can get. Some people describe using oxygen during night flights, as a way to turn the lights on.
Flying at night can be pleasant, but has its pitfalls. Fly extra careful at night.