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3 Answers

A1TAPE Mnemonic

Asked by: 7563 views FAA Regulations

Hi all,

So I went and got checked out in a 172 today at an airport.  The CFI asked me what are the required inspections for the airplane.  I asked if he meant VFR or IFR.  He replied VFR.  I said annual inspection, 100-hour inspection, ELT.  After I couldn't name any more he spilled the beans and gave me an acronym to remember: A1TAPE.

Annual inspection

100-hour inspection





I thought that the transponder, altimeter, and pitot-static system 24 month inspection requirements were for IFR only.  Was i wrong and can somebody point to where it says in the regs?  Is is even required for a VFR airplane to have a transponder?  What am i missing here....?



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3 Answers

  1. John D. Collins on Aug 31, 2012


    You are correct. 91.205 details the requirements for the minimum equipment for VFR and IFR, and a transponder is not listed as required by this regulation.

    If an aircraft is operated in the airspace specified in 91.215 (A, B, C, B 30 NM veil, above 10,000 MSL), you are required to have a transponder and it is required to be on anytime you are in that airspace or in controlled airspace if it is installed and maintained in accordance with 91.413. In other words, if you are using your transponder, it must be maintained according to 91.413 or you can’t turn it on. There is a lot of airspace where a transponder is not required.

    FAR 91.411 specifies that the 24 month check of the altimeter, static, and correspondence check is required for IFR flight.

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  2. Lagmanbek on Aug 31, 2012

    Another mnemonic for the same thing is AV1ATE-A, if you don’t like A1TAPE. All the “91.’s” below refer to FAR 91, or 14 CFR 91, or however you wish to refer to the FAR’s:

    A- annual inspection, 91.409(a)
    V – VOR check, IFR, 30 days, 91.171
    1 – 100-hour inspection, 91.409(b), if for hire.
    A – altimeter/pitot system check, 24 months, IFR, 91.411.
    T – transponder check, 24 months, 91.413
    E – ELT check, 12 months, 91.207
    A – compliance with AD’s.

    Note your q’s: VOR and altimeter are required for IFR, only.

    A VFR plane is not required to have a transponder, but you’re limiting your airspace to Class G, Class E below 10,000′, outside of 30 NM of Class B, outside of Class C, and outside of special use areas (MOA’s, Washington DC, etc.). That cuts out a significant amount of American airspace, but not insurmountable. A pilot/mechanic told me recently of ferrying a plane without a transponder from New England to Michigan. He had a little trouble avoiding Cleveland, but otherwise no problem!

    Thanks for a good question. i’m getting ready for a CFI exam and i’ve seen the mnemonic so many times, i didn’t think to find the reg’s for each requirement.

    Anyone have any corrections, please advise.

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  3. Jason on Aug 31, 2012

    Yeah that’s what I thought- thanks for confirming. CFI’s are human, too, it turns out.

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