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There's a lot to reflect upon in this, admittedly premature, accident review by Juan Browne.

It's not only student pilots who can be tragically discombobulated by false pitot indications.

 

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_447   

 

Some of us may do well to seek further instruction in no-panel flying so that it sinks in that it's air-over-the-wings, not numbers on screens or dials, that keeps us up there.  And that that moving air provides its own real-time sense-data - sound and stick feel - not to mention remembering what it is that power plus attitude equals.

 

And then, there's that final idiot-check Juan recommends; a second, quick pre-flight walk-around. 

 

Who can say they've never needed such a thing?

 

 

Can

Edited by Garfly
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Cover still on should show on the take-off roll. You could say everyone should be trained to cope. Extra speed margin required. A "good" pilot should cope. For the others, prevention is better than cure. Wasps can block the pitot with mud pretty fast  too. 

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There's nothing like a written basic preflight checklist where you cross off the critical items as you check them. Relying 100% on memory cells to check critical items, is not a 100% foolproof system.

 

I've seen this on large engine reconditioning processes. One company had reconditioned engine failure, after reconditioned engine failure, shortly after installation.

 

The problem was pinned down to an assembly system that was totally dependent on individual memory, as mechanics installed, and then secured components.

 

But it ended up that components were not being fastened correctly or fully, due to rushed work, faulty memory, distractions (phone calls are a classic), and failure to keep any written records on installation of components.

 

A new manager went through the engine reconditioning facility with a dose of salts, and introduced a new system where every component installation and tightening procedure was recorded - both in writing, and also marked on the component.

 

The reconditioned engine failure rate went to virtually zero overnight, once this system was initiated.

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1 hour ago, facthunter said:

Cover still on should show on the take-off roll. You could say everyone should be trained to cope. Extra speed margin required. A "good" pilot should cope. For the others, prevention is better than cure. Wasps can block the pitot with mud pretty fast  too. 

Yep, always ensure air speed active and relative; eg reading right for the present speed.  I always do another check that 'P' cover off during runup Mag check pre take off; then during roll check airspeed active and including in climb note rpm is at max.

Edited by Blueadventures
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Posted (edited)

Yes, and it seems to me that the importance of those checks is less to do with airspeed indication per se and more to do with the confusion/distraction that can come when confronted with anomalous data.  Confusion begets fear/panic which begets rationality melt down.  It's especially perilous near the ground, of course, and with low-time flyers.

 

Which reminds me of this recent Dan Gryder video about what happens to instructors when they have a student "lock-up" on them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Garfly
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Prestart check .

If a covered pitotube has Not been discovered, the chance of noticing it during take-off would be minimal, as your eyes will not be on the altimeter.

So at what hight would you normally check your gauges, ..

a couple of hundred feet l expect 

spacesailor

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Roundsounds said:

Simple answer to the original question (Can a pitot cover kill?) is NO. 
 

Yes.

Edited by Garfly
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4 minutes ago, spacesailor said:

Prestart check .

If a covered pitotube has Not been discovered, the chance of noticing it during take-off would be minimal, as your eyes will not be on the altimeter.

So at what hight would you normally check your gauges, ..

a couple of hundred feet l expect 

spacesailor

Altimeter?

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Altimeter, from spell check.

Altimi.ter

From guessworkter

Still a couple of hundred feet l expect 

spacesailor

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We're talking ASI here Spacey; normally checked on take-off run.  0' AGL.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Roundsounds said:

How so?

I was just agreeing; yes, the simple answer to the original question is 'no'.

 

The complex one would pick up on Juan Browne's original theme: human factors can be especially deadly in aviation so we need to train to be one step ahead of our basic instincts (basically, we're not supposed to be up there ;- )

Edited by Garfly
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Airspeed AND altimeter often have a common orifice, which if taped over will stop the pito (  & altimeter )  reading, even the two orifices were taped off on the big jet l mentioned.

spacesailor

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Posted (edited)

 

Yes, true enough, the pitot/static systems are connected and co-dependent.

 

But what I was trying to get at here is how we can avoid forgetting crucial check-list items like the pitot-cover, on the one hand, and, on the other, how we can avoid confusion and panic - and just fly the plane - when crucial instruments go berserk on us, for whatever reason. (The indication ain't the fact.)

 

BTW I think this is the airline accident you're referring to (and yes, you're right, it's another relevant example):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeroperú_Flight_603

Edited by Garfly
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Flight training standards have declined greatly over the years. Too much reliance on technology and not enough stick and rudder skills and basic airmanship. I would not send a pilot solo if they cannot fly a circuit with the ASI, VSI and ALT covered. These are basic skills.

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I heard tell of one instructor who, on a dual cross-country flight, when a student called out a dead ASI on the take-off roll, insisted that the take-off - and the rest of the flight - continue as planned. I guess he considered it a teaching/learning opportunity too good to pass up.

 

I read somewhere that the airspeed indicator, itself, was considered newfangled tech by some WWI instructors who reckoned it'd only distract student pilots from the indications they did need - sights, sounds and seats of pants.  😉

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14 hours ago, Roundsounds said:

Flight training standards have declined greatly over the years. Too much reliance on technology and not enough stick and rudder skills and basic airmanship. I would not send a pilot solo if they cannot fly a circuit with the ASI, VSI and ALT covered. These are basic skills.

Agree on the statement but this guy was an ifr rated experienced pilot, so would suggest complacency or just not being mentally ready to conduct the flight. 
 

The demonstrated walk around for the sr20 has at least three places where you check the cover, one on the initial outside scan, then again on the pitot heat test when you check that and the stall warning and again when walking around checking the nav lights.

 

it’s also in the checklists.

 

Even if this was the case and  he took off with the cover on, because nobody is perfect and stuff happens (also assuming it’s the actual right cover not some home made job), the point about flying known power and attitude should still have gotten him around the circuit safely. This is learned very early on in all our flight training, and also part of the type training when you do the cirrus conversion, or at least was for me.

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Posted (edited)

 

Yeah, so far we only have Juan's report about what was seen and heard by certain 'locals' regarding the pitot cover being found in place and about his radio calls about airspeed problems.  Already, inconsistencies are showing up, like whether he was a student or was quite experienced. The facts will out eventually. But in any case, Blancolirio's version can serve as a cautionary tale, to the extent we're able to imagine such a fate befalling ourselves. 

The joker in the pack is that despite the best of 'training', impeccable checklist habits, high levels of personal responsibility and top notch piloting skills - the distraction of an unexpected problem can still do our heads in.  Only those who've conquered their human-factors can feel immune. The rest of us need to work on it and be ready to deal with what they throw at us.

Edited by Garfly
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7 hours ago, pmccarthy said:

The ASI replaced wind in the wires.

Nope, power and attitude set, then cross referenced with ASI. Too many pilots fly based on the ASI / VSI and couldn’t describe the power and attitude for certain phases of flight. It starts with basic training. Too many instructors point out high / low IAS on approach instead of an incorrect power / attitude combination?

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Roundsounds certainly agreed with my local gliding club. Before going solo, everybody had to show they could fly with the asi and the altimeter covered. The instructors had little round covers with suction cups for just this purpose. Most of us flew the circuit about 5 knots faster than usual. 

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On 23/06/2021 at 11:18 AM, facthunter said:

Cover still on should show on the take-off roll. You could say everyone should be trained to cope. Extra speed margin required. A "good" pilot should cope. For the others, prevention is better than cure. Wasps can block the pitot with mud pretty fast  too. 

This happened with me a few months ago.... onto the runway, accelerate "Speed is ALIVE?? Nope Dead as a doornail !! ..... I aborted the take off and returned to the hangar... "Wasp Mud" in the pitot.  Anyway a few dollars later it was fixed.  It seems the pitot had not been removed in a long time so screws had to be drilled and we put in a connection so it can be easily accessed in the future.....  I lent the plane to a guy who had just come back from Louth... not sure if he had the cover on.

Edited by Country Flyer
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If the pitot cover is made of some solid material like steel and you throw it hard enough at someone's head, Yes it can kill😁.

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