I like flying at night. The air is smooth, and when it is clear the sights can be spectacular.
It used to be that crews always turned off the cabin lights for every night takeoff and landing. Dimming the lights is a safety measure. It conditions eyes to low light levels in case of an emergency evacuation with the lights out. These days it seems that practice is not always followed.
Singapore Airlines Flight 981
The equipment for Singapore Airlines Flight 981 from Bangkok to Singapore was a remodeled 777-200ER. My seat on this aircraft was the best business-class seat I’ve ever experienced. Although a much older seat, I found it to be better than the vaunted Delta One Suite and the Japan Airlines Sky Suite without a doubt.
I was still marveling at the size, comfort and features of this seat when the crew turned off the cabin lights during the taxi to the active runway. Then it occurred to me to try videoing the takeoff with my cell phone. The video turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.
The takeoff was on Runway 01L (Zero One Left). It is 4,000 meters long. I was on the starboard side of the aircraft. About 40 seconds into the roll, the plane comes abreast of the terminal as the captain rotates. I thought that was cool.
I really appreciate it when airlines turn off the lights for night takeoffs and landings. It enhances safety, improves the view, and creates a peaceful atmosphere in the cabin.