CFI Practical Test Standards: Preflight Preparation
Required instruments and equipment for day/night VFR
§ 91.205 Powered civil aircraft with standard category U.S. airworthiness certificates: Instrument and equipment requirements.
(a) General. Except as provided in paragraphs (c)(3) and (e) of this section, no person may operate a powered civil aircraft with a standard category U.S. airworthiness certificate in any operation described in paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section unless that aircraft contains the instruments and equipment specified in those paragraphs (or FAA-approved equivalents) for that type of operation, and those instruments and items of equipment are in operable condition.
(b) Visual-flight rules (day). For VFR flight during the day, the following instruments and equipment are required:
(1) Airspeed indicator.
(3) Magnetic direction indicator.
(4) Tachometer for each engine.
(5) Oil pressure gauge for each engine using pressure system.
(6) Temperature gauge for each liquid-cooled engine.
(7) Oil temperature gauge for each air-cooled engine.
(8) Manifold pressure gauge for each altitude engine.
(9) Fuel gauge indicating the quantity of fuel in each tank.
(10) Landing gear position indicator, if the aircraft has a retractable landing gear.
(11) For small civil airplanes certificated after March 11, 1996, in accordance with part 23 of this chapter, an approved aviation red or aviation white anticollision light system. In the event of failure of any light of the anticollision light system, operation of the aircraft may continue to a location where repairs or replacement can be made.
(12) If the aircraft is operated for hire over water and beyond power-off gliding distance from shore, approved flotation gear readily available to each occupant and, unless the aircraft is operating under part 121 of this subchapter, at least one pyrotechnic signaling device. As used in this section, "shore" means that area of the land adjacent to the water which is above the high water mark and excludes land areas which are intermittently under water.
(13) An approved safety belt with an approved metal-to-metal latching device, or other approved restraint system for each occupant 2 years of age or older.
(14) For small civil airplanes manufactured after July 18, 1978, an approved shoulder harness or restraint system for each front seat. For small civil airplanes manufactured after December 12, 1986, an approved shoulder harness or restraint system for all seats. Shoulder harnesses installed at flightcrew stations must permit the flightcrew member, when seated and with the safety belt and shoulder harness fastened, to perform all functions necessary for flight operations. For purposes of this paragraph—
(i) The date of manufacture of an airplane is the date the inspection acceptance records reflect that the airplane is complete and meets the FAA-approved type design data; and
(ii) A front seat is a seat located at a flightcrew member station or any seat located alongside such a seat.
(15) An emergency locator transmitter, if required by § 91.207.
(17) For rotorcraft manufactured after September 16, 1992, a shoulder harness for each seat that meets the requirements of § 27.2 or § 29.2 of this chapter in effect on September 16, 1991.
(c) Visual flight rules (night). For VFR flight at night, the following instruments and equipment are required:
(1) Instruments and equipment specified in paragraph (b) of this section.
(2) Approved position lights.
(3) An approved aviation red or aviation white anticollision light system on all U.S.-registered civil aircraft. Anticollision light systems initially installed after August 11, 1971, on aircraft for which a type certificate was issued or applied for before August 11, 1971, must at least meet the anticollision light standards of part 23, 25, 27, or 29 of this chapter, as applicable, that were in effect on August 10, 1971, except that the color may be either aviation red or aviation white. In the event of failure of any light of the anticollision light system, operations with the aircraft may be continued to a stop where repairs or replacement can be made.
(4) If the aircraft is operated for hire, one electric landing light.
(5) An adequate source of electrical energy for all installed electrical and radio equipment.
(6) One spare set of fuses, or three spare fuses of each kind required, that are accessible to the pilot in flight.
Read it on the National Archives website.
Required instruments and equipment for day/night VFR
This is covered in 14 CFR 91.205. The section is broken out with requirements for VFR (day), VFR (night), and IFR, as well as Category II and III operations. This task is limited to VFR regulations.
Do you have to memorize these lists? Probably not, but a passing familiarity wouldn't hurt. An instructor's job is to teach student pilots that these requirements exist, and when in doubt, they should refer to them, since this is just another checklist. Besides, relying on memory to know what's required and what isn't sounds like bad SOP.
As far as the six-pack goes, an airplane only needs two of the six to be legal:
Also mentioned is a "magnetic direction indicator," which would be a compass, not a Heading Indicator (no magnets in there).
Also required are some basic items to monitor each engine:
Two more panel items:
Four equipment items:
An anticollision light system is required if the aircraft was certificated after March 11, 1996. If the lights fail, the aircraft is legal, provided it's flying to a service location.
If the aircraft is operated for hire over water, beyond gliding distance to shore:
For night operations, the stakes are raised just a bit. Nothing comes off the daytime list. New items include:
What's a non-electric light? A lantern? Steam-powered? Nuclear?
Airworthiness of the airplane with inoperative instruments and equipment
§ 91.213 Inoperative instruments and equipment.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, no person may take off an aircraft with inoperative instruments or equipment installed unless the following conditions are met:
(1) An approved Minimum Equipment List exists for that aircraft.
(2) The aircraft has within it a letter of authorization, issued by the responsible Flight Standards office, authorizing operation of the aircraft under the Minimum Equipment List. The letter of authorization may be obtained by written request of the airworthiness certificate holder. The Minimum Equipment List and the letter of authorization constitute a supplemental type certificate for the aircraft.
(3) The approved Minimum Equipment List must—
(i) Be prepared in accordance with the limitations specified in paragraph (b) of this section; and
(ii) Provide for the operation of the aircraft with the instruments and equipment in an inoperable condition.
(4) The aircraft records available to the pilot must include an entry describing the inoperable instruments and equipment.
(5) The aircraft is operated under all applicable conditions and limitations contained in the Minimum Equipment List and the letter authorizing the use of the list.
(b) The following instruments and equipment may not be included in a Minimum Equipment List:
(1) Instruments and equipment that are either specifically or otherwise required by the airworthiness requirements under which the aircraft is type certificated and which are essential for safe operations under all operating conditions.
(2) Instruments and equipment required by an airworthiness directive to be in operable condition unless the airworthiness directive provides otherwise.
(3) Instruments and equipment required for specific operations by this part.
(c) A person authorized to use an approved Minimum Equipment List issued for a specific aircraft under subpart K of this part, part 121, 125, or 135 of this chapter must use that Minimum Equipment List to comply with the requirements in this section.
(d) Except for operations conducted in accordance with paragraph (a) or (c) of this section, a person may takeoff an aircraft in operations conducted under this part with inoperative instruments and equipment without an approved Minimum Equipment List provided—
(1) The flight operation is conducted in a—
(i) Rotorcraft, non-turbine-powered airplane, glider, lighter-than-air aircraft, powered parachute, or weight-shift-control aircraft, for which a master minimum equipment list has not been developed; or
(ii) Small rotorcraft, nonturbine-powered small airplane, glider, or lighter-than-air aircraft for which a Master Minimum Equipment List has been developed; and
(2) The inoperative instruments and equipment are not—
(i) Part of the VFR-day type certification instruments and equipment prescribed in the applicable airworthiness regulations under which the aircraft was type certificated;
(ii) Indicated as required on the aircraft's equipment list, or on the Kinds of Operations Equipment List for the kind of flight operation being conducted;
(iii) Required by § 91.205 or any other rule of this part for the specific kind of flight operation being conducted; or
(iv) Required to be operational by an airworthiness directive; and
(3) The inoperative instruments and equipment are—
(i) Removed from the aircraft, the cockpit control placarded, and the maintenance recorded in accordance with § 43.9 of this chapter; or
(ii) Deactivated and placarded “Inoperative.” If deactivation of the inoperative instrument or equipment involves maintenance, it must be accomplished and recorded in accordance with part 43 of this chapter; and
(4) A determination is made by a pilot, who is certificated and appropriately rated under part 61 of this chapter, or by a person, who is certificated and appropriately rated to perform maintenance on the aircraft, that the inoperative instrument or equipment does not constitute a hazard to the aircraft. An aircraft with inoperative instruments or equipment as provided in paragraph (d) of this section is considered to be in a properly altered condition acceptable to the Administrator.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an aircraft with inoperable instruments or equipment may be operated under a special flight permit issued in accordance with §§ 21.197 and 21.199 of this chapter.
Read it on the National Archives website.
Procedures and limitations for determining airworthiness of the airplane with inoperative instruments and equipment with and without a minimum equipment list (MEL).
Requirements and procedures for obtaining a special flight permit.
Airworthiness directives, compliance records, maintenance/ inspection requirements, and appropriate records.
Procedures for deferring maintenance on aircraft without an approved MEL.
Practical Test Standards: Flight Instructor
III. Preflight Preparation
Task E: Airworthiness Requirements
Objective: To determine that the applicant exhibits instructional knowledge of the elements related to required airworthiness by explaining:
Flight Instructor Test Questions
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Oral Exam Questions