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Aircraft Instrument Markings and Cockpit Placards

EAA's Custom Built Sport Aircraft Handbook

Your reference is FAR Part 91.9(b)(2) Civil Aircraft Operating Limitations and Marking Requirements.

General
To insure that each person operating an aircraft does so within the operating limitations prescribed for it, the FAA requires that there is available in it a current Flight Manual, appropriate instrument marking and placards, or any combination thereof.

The purpose of the flight manual, markings and placards is to detail, for the operator of the aircraft, the operational limitations prescribed for the aircraft.

In lieu of a flight manual most amateur builders prefer to mark their instruments and to affix the necessary placards to the instrument panel as the primary means for complying with these requirements.

Markings and Placards
The markings and placards necessary for the safe operation and handling of the aircraft should be displayed in a conspicuous place and may not be easily erased, disfigured or obscured. Such placards and markings should include but not necessarily be limited to the following criteria: special emphasis on fuel system markings are very important; such as fuel valves – on-off, fuel octane quantity, unusable fuel, minimum fuel for take-off, minimum fuel for inverted flight, etc.

Powerplant Instrument Markings
Each required powerplant instrument should be marked to indicate the maximum and, if applicable, minimum safe operating limit with a red radial line.

Each normal operating range is to be marked with a green arc not extending beyond the maximum and minimum continuous safe operating limits.

Each engine speed range that is restricted because of excessive vibration should be marked with a red arc.

Airspeed Instrument Markings
The airspeed indicator should be marked with a radial red line to establish the never-exceed speed (Vne).

The takeoff and any precautionary range should be marked with a yellow arc. The normal range is marked with a green arc. The flap actuation range is marked with a white arc.

Airspeed Placards
There should be an airspeed placard in clear view of the pilot and as close as practicable to the airspeed indicator listing:

The design maneuvering speed.
The maximum landing gear operating speed (if applicable).
The maximum flap extension operating speed (if applicable).

Landing Gears
If a retractable landing gear is used, an indicator should be marked so that the pilot can, at any time, ascertain that the wheels are secured in their extreme positions.

Each emergency control should be red and must be marked as to method of operation and identity.

Control Markings
Each fuel tank selector should be marked to indicate the position corresponding to each tank and to existing cross feed position.

If safe operation requires the use of any tanks in a specific sequence, that sequence must be identified.

Powerplant Fuel Controls
Each fuel tank selector should be marked to indicate the position corresponding to each tank and to existing cross feed position.

If safe operation requires the use of any tanks in a specific sequence, that sequence must be identified.

Flight Maneuver Placard
For non-acrobatic category airplanes, there should be a placard in front of and in clear view of the pilot stating: "No acrobatic maneuvers, including spins, approved."

For acrobatic category airplanes, there should be a placard in clear view of the pilot listing the approved acrobatic maneuvers and the recommended entry airspeed for each. If inverted flight maneuvers are not approved, the placard must have a notation to this effect.

Baggage Placard
The maximum baggage load permitted should be displayed in a conspicuous place adjacent to the baggage area.

Passenger Warning Placard
A placard must be affixed to the aircraft so that it is readily seen in the cockpit. It will state: "Passenger Warning--This aircraft is amateur built and does not comply with the Federal Safety Regulations for "Standard Aircraft". This placard is part of a set available from EAA.

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