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Quiz: 6 Questions To See If You Know How Your Pitot-Static System Works

Boldmethod

Instruments acting weird? If you know how they work, you might be able to determine why they're not.


  1. 1) Your vertical speed indicator (VSI) is able to give trend and rate information. When climbing or descending, the ____________ allows for a momentary difference in pressure between the ___________ and the ____________. This is indicated as __________ information. When pressure becomes ____________, ___________ information is shown.

    The vertical speed indicator (VSI) is able to give trend and rate information. When climbing or descending, the calibrated leak allows for a momentary difference in pressure between the diaphragm and the casing. This is indicated as trend information. When pressure becomes equal, rate information is shown.

    The vertical speed indicator (VSI) is able to give trend and rate information. When climbing or descending, the calibrated leak allows for a momentary difference in pressure between the diaphragm and the casing. This is indicated as trend information. When pressure becomes equal, rate information is shown.

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  2. 2) When you increase altitude, the pressure inside the altimeter casing ________ causing the _________ to _________.

    When you increase altitude, the pressure inside the altimeter casing decreases causing the diaphragm to expand.

    When you increase altitude, the pressure inside the altimeter casing decreases causing the diaphragm to expand.

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  3. 3) The airspeed indicator uses what kind of pressure and from which port(s) to display airspeed information?

    The airspeed indicator uses static pressure from the static port as well as static/dynamic pressure from the pitot tube.

    The airspeed indicator uses static pressure from the static port as well as static/dynamic pressure from the pitot tube.

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  4. 4) Increasing your airspeed causes ________ pressure to increase inside the __________ causing it to ________. The ___________ pressure from the __________ and __________ cancel out.

    Increasing your airspeed causes dynamic pressure to increase inside the diaphragm causing it to expand. The static pressure from the pitot tube/diaphragm and static port/casing cancel out.

    Increasing your airspeed causes dynamic pressure to increase inside the diaphragm causing it to expand. The static pressure from the pitot tube/diaphragm and static port/casing cancel out.

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  5. 5) You got yourself into a bit of icing on your flight between Buffalo, NY and Albany, NY and your static port froze over. Without using the alternate static source, what indications would you see on your instruments?

    If the static port is blocked, your airspeed indicator will indicate faster speeds as you descend and slower speeds as you climb. Your vertical speed indicator will remain at 0 FPM and the altimeter will indicate the altitude at when the blockage occurred regardless if you climb or descend.

    If the static port is blocked, your airspeed indicator will indicate faster speeds as you descend and slower speeds as you climb. Your vertical speed indicator will remain at 0 FPM and the altimeter will indicate the altitude at when the blockage occurred regardless if you climb or descend.

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  6. 6) Let's say your static port is open again but now the pitot tube and its drain hole are frozen over. What instruments are affected now?

    If the pitot tube and drain hole are both frozen over, the airspeed will increase with an increase in altitude and decreases with a decrease in altitude. The VSI and altimeter remain unaffected. 

    If the pitot tube and drain hole are both frozen over, the airspeed will increase with an increase in altitude and decreases with a decrease in altitude. The VSI and altimeter remain unaffected. 

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Corey Komarec

Corey is an Embraer 175 First Officer for a large regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota, and he's been flying since he was 16. You can reach him at corey@boldmethod.com.

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