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What in the World is TOMATO FLAMES?

No, A-TOMATO-FLAMES is not an apocalyptic fantasy, promising garden-vegetable-world-domination (although that would be pretty neat).

It's actually a very handy mnemonic for remembering 14 CFR 91.205.

This FAR states the minimum required equipment for VFR day and VFR night flight. It also lists IFR minimum required instruments, night vision goggle operations, as well as flights above 24,000 feet. But, we won't discuss those here.
Tomato Flames
So, Super Pilot, how do you abide by the law? Let's say you're in the run-up area for an overnight trip, and you discover that the tachometer isn't moving. You know your aircraft well, and you think you can judge engine speed by ear - should you fly?
Not only is this a bad idea, it's also illegal. The first "T" in ATOMATO FLAMES stands for Tachometer….Honey, gas up the mini-van!
VFR Day, Minimum Instrument & Equipment Requirements:
A – Altimeter
T – Tachometer
O – Oil Temperature Gauge (for each air cooled engine)
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 (If your aircraft was certificated after March 11, 1996)
M – Magnetic Compass
S – Seat Belts
Additionally, if you plan to fly at night, you will need to add FLAPS to the acronym. Even if night flight isn't planned, it's a good idea to have these working, as well as fresh night currency:
VFR Night, Minimum Instrument & Equipment Requirements:
F – Fuse Spares
L – Landing Light (if operating for hire, but it's a good idea anyway)
A – Anti Collision Lights
P – Position Lights
S – Source of Power
So there you have it, the definition of TOMATO FLAMES.
Got any questions? We have customer service pilots, that would be happy to help: 800.854.1001
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