“We had a customer come in for a routine plug and play install product, only to find they had a leak on the right wing. Which was a surprise to them because they had just gotten an IFR done in February!... Honestly this plane should have never passed IFR inspection. We were glad to have found and resolved the issue to assure our customers safety.” - Greenville Air
What is the Pitot Static System?
Airspeed & Altitude! Where you are in the air communicating with both Airspeed and Altitude.
All aircrafts use pitot RAM Air for velocity, this tube is usually placed on the wing, which reads the air pressure in the cabin. This shows if air pressure is building up or depressurizing accurately depending on what altitude you are at.
For Example: 30 knots static is coming
into the pitot tube. (static system vacuum.)
Zero altimeter on the coast (at sea level)
1,000 in Greenville SC and 8,000 in some places of Denver CO.
These are examples of extreme air pressure differences around us that drop the air around you making altitude drop.
Standard readings should be 29.92 inches of mercury / 14.7 psi / 1,001 millibars at 10,000 ft above sea level it is 7.00 inches of mercury. Drop in air pressure bellows. There is a difference in full and partial bellows.(Partial is okay)
Altimeter determines how high pilots can go. If a pilot went 20,000 ft but his plane is only equipped for 18,000 ft then his altimeter reader would not read correctly.
Why should pilots be concerned with an edo peak leak in their system, if they are not flying IFR?
When you have a leak then the Altimeter readings may be incorrect. Pilots could be close to mountains or the ground and not even know it due to a leak in your system.
Your airspeed maybe incorrect if you have a leak.
Pitot system leak check can only allow
2 knots per minute and 100 ft per minute on GA aircraft.
Even if you are not flying IFR and you have a leak you can still not know where you are.
A leak check is done with every IFR completed on your plane (IFR’s are recommend getting done every two years.)
BUT I recommend getting a leak check done with every annual.
Again, why do pilots need it?
They can tell how high they are when flying.
And how fast they are going.
The new ADS-B Systems that are being installed will help with this leak issue even further.
With ADS-B it tells the ATC (Air Traffic Control) your exact location in the air.
So, they can tell what altitude you are at.
Say you are flying 2,400 ft back from another plane and they are 2500 feet from their destination. If your altimeter is off 500 feet due to a leak then can be very dangerous. Although planes bumping into each other are not as much of a concern because they have radar system to help see other planes. The main concern with altimeter flying safety is due to as something simple as having an IFR or Leak check done.
Say you are flying near the beautiful mountains of TN or GA, NC or SC and your altitude is off due to a leak... you could too easily crash into the side of a mountain. Let’s face it, it’s simple to have an IFR or a Pitot leak check done.
If your altimeter is off, it’s time for an IFR Systems check or if your annual is coming up you can add a Pitot Systems leak check.
Unless you want to play chicken in the sky.