I have a checkride coming up and I will be taking it in a TAA plane. The vacuum indicator and attitude indicator are both inop and marked as so, but was wondering if it is still okay to fly for a commercial checkride. Those instruments are not a part of ATOMATOFLAMES, plus I do have the attitude indicator and all of my vacuum instruments on the glass panel for something to refer to. Inop process was followed but still not sure if I can still fly with just glass panel to rely on? Would it be okay to fly for a checkride?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ My suggestion: review FAR 61.45, appropriate sections of FAR 91 regarding required aircraft equipment, and appendix 7 of the Commercial Airman Certification Standards (ACS). Then talk to the Examiner before you show up for the flight check. Since your airplane has some inop equipment you may want to have its airworthiness and acceptability for your checkride sorted out and agreed to by the Examiner before your check. $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Commented May 26, 2023 at 4:41
  • $\begingroup$ Take a look at the MEL. There may be relief for an inoperative vacuum system. These standby instruments are there in the case of a complete electrical failure. If it is not on the MEL (or no MEL exists), take a look at the equipment list (EL), you may find that it is/is not a required piece of equipment. If it is not required, follow the guidance in 91.213 and deactivate it. $\endgroup$
    – wbeard52
    Commented May 26, 2023 at 17:19

2 Answers 2


If the airplane is airworthy and the inoperative equipment is not required for the checkride tasks, you can use it for a checkride.

ATOMATOFLAMES are all required, but keep in mind that your airplane's POH, STCs, applicable ADs, etc., can all require equipment beyond just those basics.

For instance, if you are flying a Cessna 172S, the vacuum gauge is required for day VFR flight, unless the airplane has an STC or other document changing this requirement.


Check to see if your plane has a Minimum Equipment List. If not go through the following:

  1. Check the Type Data Certificate Sheet (can be found on the FAA's DRS online) and check any Supplemental Type Certificates
  2. Check the POH for a Kinds of Equipment List
  3. You've already checked 14 CFR 91.205 which is good
  4. Check for any Airworthiness Directives

If the equipment is not required by any of the above do the following:

  1. Discard/deactivate it
  2. Placard it as "Inoperative"
  3. Sign off on it in the maintenance logs
  4. Determine if as PIC you feel comfortable flying without the inoperative equipment

You should also talk to your DPE and mention you've gone through the above steps. Make them aware the equipment is inoperative and as your examiner they might make a decision.


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