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  #1  
Old 07-06-2006, 09:24 AM
wvshoem wvshoem is offline
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Default Pitot Heat - Why the controversy???

Okay – I’m a little surprised. I didn’t realize there was controversy around pitot heat. I didn’t want to further muddle Dust’s plane day thread, so I moved my question here.

I plan on flying my Long EZ in IMC when necessary so was automatically going to add pitot heat. I already have the switch engraved and ready to install (just have to lay out the several hundred dollars for the actual pitot tube).

It was my training and now my habit to turn on the pitot heat before entering the clouds – always – regardless of temperature. If I’m launching into 400 foot overcast (or the like), it’s turned on during run-up.

Please excuse my ignorance on the subject, but this is my practice because I was told to do it that way. I was under the impression that the heat was not only for ice, but also to help keep visible moisture out of the system. Now that I’ve read several posts, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

In my 21 years of flying GA airplanes, I’ve probably picked up ice a total of five times (probably more, but at least five times that warranted doing something about it) and I have flown in a lot of actual. I am conservative, however, and pay very close attention to forecasts (generally terrible when it comes to icing) and get all the PIREPS I can before launching. ADDS digital weather is another great resource.

All that being said, and the fact that I thought I had my mind made up, what are the negatives of installing pitot heat? I was a little surprised with the cost, but considered against the overall investment, a few hundred more dollars is no big deal.

William
  #2  
Old 07-06-2006, 09:35 AM
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Dust Dust is offline
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wvshoem - I agrees with you. Many if not most builders believe that you should never find yourself in ice, from the many fliers that i have chatted with in michigan, Pitot heat is a conservative choice.

BTW, a year ago I went to the FAA or NTSB web accident data base and looked for Icing accidents.

Could not find any as ALL the icing reports of accidents were caused by Carb icing.

Personally, you could not convince me to put a carb in a plane, that ice bites and bites often
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2006, 09:42 AM
wvshoem wvshoem is offline
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Well, I have a carburetor on my little O235, so I'll be heating that too.
  #4  
Old 07-06-2006, 09:51 AM
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don't know the availability of fuel injection for your engine and I knows that it would be a PIA to install, but, a review of the accidents on Carb Icing is very eye opening.

I would guess, only a wild guess, that allot of the carb icing problems come from dry climate fliers going to damp areas.

when i took flight lessons in Scottsdale Arizona they chided me for carb heat in the pattern, habits that save your butt in michigan, simply not taught in the Arizona desert.
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dust

maker of wood, fiberglass, foam dust, metal bits and one day a Cozy will pop out and swiftly whisk me from meeting old friends and family to adventures throughout the world
  #5  
Old 07-06-2006, 10:01 AM
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Yes John - you can fly without a pitot and rely on the flying characteristics that you are used to in your plane, but, the problem as I see it, with ice on the flying and other surfaces, the flying characteristics of your plane become different than you are used to.

I'm conservative, or at least I think I am conservative, I'll be putting a heated pitot on.
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  #6  
Old 07-06-2006, 10:04 AM
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Save $$$$ Use the Cessna pitot heater element and make your own.
  #7  
Old 07-06-2006, 11:24 AM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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Here's the deal:

(1) Part 23 lists the equipment requirements, standards, and other stuff for what a standard aircraft must have.

(2) For standard aircraft, a heated pitot tube is required if it's going to be flown IFR.

(3) Part 23 doesn't apply to experimentals. Only Part 91.205 does.

(4) Part 91.205 DOESN'T LIST a heated pitot tube as a necessary element required for IFR flight. It only lists the instrument panel gyros, instrumentation, and radios required in addition to the VFR equipment needed.

(5) Some canard flyers who are high time IFR flyers or who have actual icing experiences have said that the canard will ice up and fall out of the sky long before the pitot tube ices up. Should you trust that? I trust that they feel that, but I would still fly with a heated pitot tube if I were flying IFR.

(6) It is my personal opinion that some canard builders who intend to fly IFR don't install heated pitot tubes because (a) heated pitots draw alot of power and some builder don't have alternators big enough to drive ship's power; and (b) an off-the-shelf pitot tube is too expensive; and (c) Part 91.205 doesn't require it.

I asked my FSDO rep about the experimental's need to have a heated pitot tube for IFR. He said:

(7) If you keep your mouth shut and don't tell me anything other than "Day VFR unless properly equipped," I'll sign you off without a heated pitot tube.

(8) If you offer up that you intend to fly IFR, I'm going to want to see a heated pitot tube on your plane. If you don't have one, I WON'T sign you off until you do. (Reminder: An Inspector is totally within his/her right to use Part 43 and Part 23 to establish his/hre comfort level with "best practices and methods.")
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