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Airspeed Indicator (ASI) Markings

in Flight Instruments

Aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or less, manufactured after 1945, and certificated by the FAA, are required to have an airspeed indicator (ASI) marked in accordance with a standard color-coded marking system. This system of color-coded markings enables a pilot to determine at a glance certain airspeed limitations that are important to the safe operation of the aircraft. For example, if during the execution of a maneuver, it is noted that the airspeed needle is in the yellow arc and rapidly approaching the red line, the immediate reaction should be to reduce airspeed.


As shown in Figure 7-8, airspeed indicators (ASIs) on single-engine small aircraft include the following standard color-coded markings:

  • White arc—commonly referred to as the flap operating range since its lower limit represents the full flap stall speed and its upper limit provides the maximum flap speed. Approaches and landings are usually flown at speeds within the white arc.
  • Lower limit of white arc (VS0)—the stalling speed or the minimum steady flight speed in the landing configuration. In small aircraft, this is the power-off stall speed at the maximum landing weight in the landing configuration (gear and flaps down).
  • Upper limit of the white arc (VFE)—the maximum speed with the flaps extended.
  • Green arc—the normal operating range of the aircraft. Most flying occurs within this range.
  • Lower limit of green arc (VS1)—the stalling speed or the minimum steady flight speed obtained in a specified configuration. For most aircraft, this is the power-off stall speed at the maximum takeoff weight in the clean configuration (gear up, if retractable, and flaps up).
  • Upper limit of green arc (VNO)—the maximum structural cruising speed. Do not exceed this speed except in smooth air.
  • Yellow arc—caution range. Fly within this range only in smooth air, and then, only with caution.
  • Red line (VNE)—never exceed speed. Operating above this speed is prohibited since it may result in damage or structural failure.
Airspeed indicator (ASI)

Figure 7-8. Airspeed indicator (ASI).

51DPcJTcMwL._SX381_BO1,204,203,200_Learn more about all of your flight instruments with the Instrument Flying Handbook. This is the FAA’s primary pilot resource for instrument flight rules (IFR) covering everything pertinent to operating an aircraft in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) or without reference to outside visuals, relying solely on the information gleaned from the cockpit.

 

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