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Vote: What Happens When Your Pitot Tube Ices Over?


The scenario:

You're flying in IMC in icing conditions, and your pitot heat fails. You quickly notify ATC, and request a descent out of the clouds. ATC approves your decent to an altitude that will get you out of the clouds, and you start down.

However, roughly 2 minutes into the descent, your pitot tube completely ices over (including the pitot drain). If you continue your descent at the same rate and speed, what will happen to your airspeed indicator?

(After you've voted, make sure you find out the answer here.)

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View The Results

Thanks for voting, now find out the answer!

Think you got it right? Click here to check out our airspeed indicator article to see if you got it right, and why the airspeed indicator reacts the way it does. (Hint, your airspeed indicator will start to indicate a slower airspeed)

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Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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