Features

December 2013 Issue

Pitot-Static Systems

Even with a state-of-the-art glass panel, a simple blockage can ruin your day. Your reaction depends on which of two basic blockages you’re experiencing.

No matter how much automation we fly behind, no matter how many air-data computers are installed and no matter how simple it is, it’s likely a pitot-static system—pretty much like the one Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic—is what generates airspeed and some other basic flight information aboard the aircraft we fly. These systems are relatively simple, consisting of basic sensors, some plumbing and sensitive instrumentation. The difference in air pressure does all the work.

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