What instruments do I need for a VFR flight?

Jason Schappert has recently created a short video with a great acronym to remember what instruments are required for VFR flights. His acronym for day flights: A-TOMATO-FLAMES. Here is what it stands for:

  • A – Altimeter
  • T – Tachometer
  • O – Oil Temperature Gauge
  • M – Manifold Pressure Gauge (If applicable)
  • A – Airspeed Indicator
  • T – Temperature Gauge (For each liquid cooled engine)
  • O – Oil Pressure Gauge
  • F – Fuel Gauges
  • L – Landing Gear Position Indicator (If applicable)
  • A – Anti Collision Lights (For aircraft manufactured after March 11, 1996)
  • M – Magnetic Compass
  • E – ELT
  • S – Seat Belts

And if you happen to be flying at night, just add FLAPS:

  • F – Fuses
  • L – Landing Light
  • A – Anti Collision Lights
  • P – Position Lights
  • S – Source of Power

Hence and on your next checkride, just remember: A-TOMATO-FLAMES-FLAPS

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2 Responses to What instruments do I need for a VFR flight?

  1. Nick February 27, 2010 at 10:14 #

    I used to fly a 'Powered Parachute' microlight in the UK – so my instrument checklist was quite easy. 'A' for altimeter. That was it!

    I sometimes added 'C' for compass (on a lanyard around my neck) and in the later years a primitive 'GPS' – no moving map, just a dotted line so I could find my way back!

    The simple life 🙂

  2. Tom A September 2, 2018 at 05:38 #

    Landing light at night is only required for flights that are for hire. . Elt not required for single seat aircraft.

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