Minimum Required Equipment

FAR 91.205 lists the required equipment for all flights.


  • Airspeed indicator
  • Altimeter
  • Magnetic direction indicator (compass)
  • Tachometer
  • Oil pressure gauge for each engine using a pressure system
  • Temperature gauge for each liquid cooled engine
  • Oil temperature gauge for each air cooled engine
  • Manifest pressure gauge for each altitude engine
  • Fuel gauge indicating the quantity of fuel in each tank
  • Landing gear position indicator, if retractable.
  • If certified after 1996-03-11, red and white anticollision light system.
  • If over water, and beyond glide distance: approved flotation gear, and at least one flare.
  • Approved safety belt for everyone > 2
  • If made after 1978-07-18, shoulder harness or restraint for each front seat.
    • If made after 1986-12-12, shoulder harness or restraint for all seats.
  • An ELT, as required for 91.207

Or, as a mnemonic (retrieved from Ask A CFI), TOMATOE A FLAMES:

  • 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
  • Altimeter
  • Manifold Pressure Gauge for each engine
  • Emergency Locator Transmitter
  • Safety Belts and Shoulder Harnesses

Source: FAR 91.205 (b)

VFR Night

Everything in VFR Day plus the following:


  • 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)

Source: FAR 91.205 (c)


IFR Adds GRABCARD to the respective VFR Day or Night requirements (i.e. for IFR day, you need all the required equipment for VFR day, plus what follows. For IFR night, you need all the required equipment for VFR Day & Night, plus what follows.)

  • Generator/Alternator
  • Radios (Two-way comms + navigation equipment suitable for the route to be flown)
  • Altimeter (sensitive & adjustable for barometric pressure)
  • Ball (Slip-kid indicator)
  • Clock (display hours, minutes, and seconds with a sweep-second pointer or digital presentation)
  • Attitude Indicator
  • Rate-of-Turn Indicator
  • Direction gyroscope (heading indicator)

Source: FAR 91.205 (d)

Last updated: 2021-05-13 15:18:56 -0700