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VFR Required Equipment

Posted by on January 9, 2010 8 Comments Category : Flight Instructor Blog Tags :

Here is a question from Joe who asks:

How’s it going? I’m a CFI/CFII getting ready to work on my MEI. I’m was just wondering if you had any easy ways to teach 91.205. I have ways to easily teach equipment required for IFR flight and VFR Night. I just don’t have a easily remembered acronym for necessary equipment for VFR DAY. Any ideas?

Hi Joe, thanks for your question.

Actually I do have a mnemonic that I was taught to help remember the equipment required by § 91.205.  I’m not sure which mnemonic you are using for VFR night so I’ll give them both to you.  So here is a mnemonic to help you remember the required equipment for VFR day (paragraph b) and the required equipment for VFR night (paragraph c).


  • Tachometer (for each engine)
  • Oil Pressure Gauge
  • Magnetic Direction Indicator (magnetic compass)
  • Airspeed Indicator
  • Temperature Gauge for each liquid cooled engine
  • Oil Temperature Gauge
  • Emergency equipment (beyond power off gliding distance over water) pyrotechnic signaling device, flotation device
  • Anti-collision Lights
  • Fuel Gauge for each tank
  • Landing gear position indicator
  • Alitmeter
  • Manifold Pressure Gauge for each engine
  • Emergency Locator Transmitter
  • Safety Belts and Shoulder Harnesses


  • Fuses
  • Landing light, if operated for hire
  • Anti-collision light (beacon and/or strobes)
  • Position Lights – Nav Lights (Red on the left, Green on the Right, White facing aft)
  • Source of electricity (battery, generator, alternator)

Disclaimer: Several of the items are only required if you meet certain conditions and several of the items also have additional descriptions listed in the actual regulation.  Take for instance the M in FLAMES.  If you look at § 91.205, you will learn that a manifold pressure gauge is only required if you have an “altitude engine” (an engine capable of developing rated takeoff power to a certain altitude).  So feel to pass this list on to your students, but make sure you follow it up with a good discussion and reading of the actual reg.

Here is a link to the official reg: FAR §91.205


  1. Patrick Flannigan on Jan 10, 2010

    I remember being on the edge of panic trying to remember all this stuff before I stumbled upon “TOMATOEAFLAMES.” When I got to the checkride, we barely touched on it!

  2. IFR required equipment | Ask a Flight Instructor on Jan 11, 2010

    […] Videos « VFR Required Equipment […]

  3. Eric on Jan 11, 2010

    That’s the goal of every instructor: we want all of our students to be overprepared for the checkride (and for their solo flights post-checkride). There’s only so much the examiner can ask during a checkride session!

  4. Videos from Ask a Flight Instructor | Dan's Landing on Jan 25, 2010

    […] some great aviation related questions. There is a post on VFR equipment required which mentions the TOMATO AFLAMES acronym that should help you to remember the equipment you […]

  5. David on Jun 27, 2011

    I was taught Goose a cat for VFR day.

  6. Matty Mac on Dec 05, 2015

    I always remember it with the mnemonic AFASTMOOSE for VFR. Altimeter. Fuel gauge. Airspeed indicator. Strobe. Tach. Magnetic compass. Oil temp. Oil pressure. Seatbelts. ELT.

  7. Ace Jensen on Jul 07, 2017

    Are anti-collision lights needed for both day and night VFR? I don’t believe so. I’m pretty sure it’s just TOMATO FLAMES and FLAPS

  8. antonio berrios on Jul 18, 2017

    Yes, if the plane was certified after 1996. It’s the blinky red light most planes have.

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