Equipment Commentary

Question-by-Question Explanation of Equipment

I use a mnemonic word AROWILL to remember the documents that I am required to have on board.

A irworthiness Certificate (CARs 605.03)
R egistration Certificate (CARs 202.26)
O wner's Manual (CARs 605.04)
W eight & Balance
I nsurance (CARs 606.02)
L icences (pilot's licence, medical, and radio licence - CARs 401.03)
L ogbook (the aircraft journey logbook, not your personal logbook)
There used to be two Rs and two Is in the mnemonic, but the aircraft radio station licence and the interception signals are no longer required to be carried on board. The journey log may be left at home if you will not be shutting down at another airport (CARs 605.95).

(1) As per CARs 602.61, if your journey is more than 25 nm from your aerodrome, you must carry means of starting a fire, purifying water, making a shelter, and signalling distress. Obviously the situation is going to be different depending on whether you're flying from Vancouver to Chilliwack or Iqaluit to Kangiqsualujjuaq. There is an annex in the back of the AIP-AIR which describes conditions in different parts of the country, and suggests appropriate equipment.
(2) A radio is only required in controlled airspace or where there is a mandatory frequency.
(3) Some passenger operations are restricted to multi-engined aircraft, but there are many passenger charters that fly hundreds of miles in single engine aircraft.

(1) Carrying passengers at night, you are required to have a serviceable landing light. You are not required to use it -- there may be conditions of glare or precipitation that cause you to choose not to -- but you must have one, and it must work. CARs 605.16(1)(j)
(2) It doesn't matter how much your aircraft weighs or whether it is private or commercial. In the United States, a landing light is only required if you are carrying passengers for hire, but Canadian laws are different.
(3) You are not permitted to land at an unlighted aerodrome at night unless you are involved in a police operation, or saving human life. See CARs 602.40. Aerodrome lighting must comply with CARs 301.07.
(4) If you are by yourself, with no passengers, you don't need a landing light. It still might be a good idea though.

(1) There is no particular oxygen rule associated with 9,500'.
(2) If you fly at cabin pressure altitudes above 10,000' for more than 30 minutes, each crew member must use supplemental oxygen. That means if you fly an unpressurized aircraft at 10,500' for 30 minutes, no oxygen is required, but if you fly at 10,500' for 31 minutes, 31 minutes of oxygen is required. This answer choice is not correct because you CAN legally fly above 10,000' without oxygen, as long as you don't go above 13,000', and as long as you don't stay there for more than 30 minutes.
(3) Operating a US-registered aircraft in US airspace, you are required to have oxygen above 12,500'.
(4) As described in CARs 605.31 and CARs 605.32, everyone on board is required to use supplemental oxygen when the cabin altitude is above 13,000'.

If you fly any airplane above 10,000' for more than 30 minutes, oxygen must be available to the crew. If the airplane is unpressurized, the crew must be using the oxygen.

(1) A life raft for each person? That would be excessive! You don't need to learn all the life raft rules for the private licence. CARs 602.63
(2) You can remember this one because a life preserver is somethig that each person wears, so you need one for each person. CARs 602.62

(1) Commit 121.5 to memory. The UHF emergency frequency is 243.0 -- that's easy to remember because it's exactly double 121.5.  If you have a radio, it must be able to communicate on 121.5. (CARs 602.143)
(2) 121.9 is not any special frequency, but it's quite a common ground control frequency, especially in the United States.
(3) 122.2 is the United States "Flight Watch" frequency, for PIREPs and weather.
(4) 126.7 is the Canadian enroute frequency.

(1) As long as the airspace doesn't require you to be radio-equipped, it makes no difference if it's day or night.
(2) Landing lights are only required if there are passengers.
(3) The aerodrome must be lighted as set out in CARs 301.07.
(4) Three night landings in ninety days describes the United States rules for night currency with passengers. The Canadian night currency requirement is 5 night takeoffs and landings in the past six months. If you are not night current and you want to take passengers, you can go out and do five solo circuits and then taxi back and pick up your passengers.

As defined in CARs 101.01, an infant is any person under two years of age, regardless of size. An infant can be held on an adult passenger's lap or secured in an infant car seat. Older children need their own seats. When I have an infant or child on board, I always include that in the remarks section of my flight plan, because a child might wander away from an accident site or hide from rescuers.

(1) A normal airplane seatbelt is pretty useless for holding a one year old. When the CARs 605.25 and 605.26 talks about a child restraint system, they are referring to a carseat..
(2) A strong impact would pull the child out of the adult's arms, but this is the approved answer.
(3) Never fasten a seatbelt around an adult and a child togther, in any vehicle. An impact, even just medium turbulence, could cause the child to be crushed or strangled between the belt and the adult.

The required equipment for day VFR in Canada is listed in CARs 605.14 and according to CARs 602.59 it needs to meet aviation standards. American students use the mnemonic TOMATO FLAMES to remember it all. Our rules are slightly different, so I have revised Tomato Flames to match the CARs.
T achometer
O il pressure gauge for each engine
M agnetic compass
A ltimeter
T imepiece (e.g. a wristwatch or a working dashboard clock)
O il temperature gauge (or other coolant gauge as applicable)

F uel gauge (can just be a visual indication of the level)
L anding gear position indicator (if retractable)
A irspeed indicator
M anifold pressure gauge (if relevant)
E mergency equipment (first aid kit, fire extinguisher, ELT)
S urvival equipment appropriate to the season, geographic area, and route of flight
Personally, I find it harder to remember which letter represents what in Tomato Flames than just to memorize the equipment needed: I need to know how high I am, how fast I'm going, which way I'm going how much fuel I have left (that includes the watch), how my engine is doing., and I need safety equipment.  The American version of TOMATO FLAMES is here.

If there is anything wrong with anything on board your aircraft, you should write a short description of the problem in the journey log, and sign it.  For now, just tell your flight instructor or your maintenance unit, to have them confirm whether there really is a problem. Here is a joke about what maintenance thinks of pilot complaints.

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This page written 8 October 2002 by Robyn Stewart.  Last revised 29 July 2002.

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