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A-TOMATO-FLAMES and FLAPS Explained

Flex Air Charters Aircraft, Education

ATOMATOFLAMES and FLAPS are acronyms used to help pilots remember the required equipment items that need to be functioning before takeoff. Each letter stands for a different item, and pilots go through the acronym before every takeoff to ensure that all systems are working properly. These are requirements set by the FAA per FAR 91.205. Here’s what each letter stands for:

A – Airspeed Indicator

T – Tachometer (for each engine)

O – Oil Pressure Gauge (for each engine)

M – Manifold Pressure Gauge (for each engine, if applicable)

A – Altimeter

T – Temperature Gauge (for each liquid-cooled engine)

O – Oil Temperature Gauge (for each engine)

F – Fuel Gauge

L – Landing Gear Position Indicator (if applicable)

A – Anti-Collision Lights (For aircraft certificated after March 11, 1996)

M – Magnetic Compass

E – Emergency Location Transmitter (ELT)

S – Safety Belts

VFR flights that are scheduled to take place at night, require the add-on acronym FLAPS:

F – Fuses

L – Landing Light

A – Anti-Collision Lights

P – Position Lights

S – Source of Power

By going through this checklist before takeoff, pilots can ensure that all critical systems are functioning properly and that they are prepared for any emergency situations that may arise during flight. Ultimately the Pilot in Command (PIC) is responsible for the safe and legal operation of any given aircraft, which is why these acronyms are created to help aid the PIC in his or her responsibilities.