Section 9, Lesson 1
In Progress

Day and Night VFR Required Equipment

VFR Equipment Required

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established a minimum set of required equipment for airplanes. All of this equipment is necessary to fly. However, a few items are aircraft specific, and are not required if the aircraft does not have the associated system. For example, a landing gear position indicator is not necessary for aircraft lacking retractable gear.


Lesson Notes

The FAA requires airplanes to have a minimum set of working instruments, depending on the type of operation. Most airplanes, however, have more than the minimum. We use acronyms to remember the instruments.

A.T.O.M.A.T.O.F.L.A.M.E.S.

is the acronym used for day visual flight rules (VFR) flight.

F.L.A.P.S.

is the acronym used for night VFR flight (after sunset).

There are other acronyms for instrument flight rules (IFR) that we won’t go into at this time. But, be aware that as the operation’s complexity increases, the legal requirements usually increases as well.

Just like pretty much everything with regards to legal stuff, this is easy money on a checkride. Commit it to memory.

Additional Resources


Flashcard Questions

Memorize ATOMATOFLAMES and FLAPS

When is a manifold pressure gauge required? Do you have a manifold pressure gauge in your airplane?

What is the difference between a temperature gauge and an oil temperature gauge?

When is the night-VFR equipment required? Is it sunset, end of evening civil twilight, etc?

You rent a 1960s Cessna 170, which you notice does not have an anti-collision light. You inquire to the flight school about this, and they say that it’s not legally required. Are they correct?

You are out for a late afternoon flight, and expect to land just before sundown. You don’t have any of the required night VFR equipment on board. As you return to the airport, you are told that the only runway is closed because an airplane landed gear up. You have 5 minutes until sunset, 30 minutes of fuel and there are several other airports within a 10 minutes flight. What do you do?

You have invited a friend to go for a short night flight. It is a cloudless night with a full moon. When you preflight the airplane you find that the landing light is inoperative. Is it required for your flight?