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VFR Required Equipment

Posted by on January 9, 2010 6 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.

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