§91.213 Operating without MEL (Minimum Equipment List)

One of the most challenging parts of being a pilot is to try to remember all the rules and regulations when an instrument or equipment is not working. I know you have a lot of questions. Am I legal?; Is this a safe operation?; Should I continue?. Here in this article, you will see how easy it is to follow §91.213.

First, let’s start asking ourselves. What is MEL.? MEL or Minimum Equipment List is an exact list of equipment, instrument, and procedures that allow flying an aircraft under specific conditions and limitations. In a few words, it is a document that enables a pilot to legally operate an aircraft, even if something is not working. 

If you are starting this career, do not worry. The MEL is something General Aviation (GA) pilots won’t necessarily see until they start flying larger and more advanced aircraft. However, it’s worth knowing what they are and how they work, especially if you plan on flying professionally. Here is an example of a piece of a MEL.


§91.213 is too complicated! Is there any way to remember all this.? Yes, it is. Our team has organized §91.213 (Operating without MEL) is a simple flow chart. Make sure you use this chart every time you are unsure if you are legal or not.

Flow Chart

Operating without MEL

For example, Vertical Speed Indicator is not working.

  • First, you have to ask, does the aircraft have a MEL.?
    • The plane is a Cessna so that the answer will be NO.
  • Is the VSI part of VFR-type certification.?
    • No. it is not.
  • Is indicated as required on the aircraft equipment list or KOEL.?
    • No, it is not.
  • Does §91.205 require the VSI.? No matter if its day or night, the VSI is not needed.
    • Is required by an Airworthiness Directive? No, it’s not.
  • Placard INOP and determine the best decision as a pilot.

Don’t stop here, let’s keep learning!

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