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TS-IOR
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Honeybee In Pitot Tube :-D

Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:14 am

On March, the 29th 2013 at 11h25 UTC emergency was declared in NBE/DTNH by LBT2150 reg. TS-INH destination SXF/EDDB shortly after takeoff due to malfunction in the speed indicator. The aircraft landed safely at 11h27 UTC and joined stand. The preliminary inspection revealed that a HONEYBEE was stuck in the pitot tube.
Shortly afterwards at about 11h56 UTC a second departing LBT2198 reg TS-INO to HAJ/EDDV aborted takeoff and taxied back to gate due to the same problem. The result of inspection was the same. HONEYBEE !
 
fr8mech
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RE: Honeybee In Pitot Tube :-D

Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:22 am

Actually fairly common. Our standard procedure is to install pitot covers on any ground segment over 6 hours.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
 
fr8mech
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RE: Honeybee In Pitot Tube :-D

Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:40 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
Actually fairly common.

Let me clarify: an ATB is not fairly common for this problem. What is common is that bugs like to nest in pitot probes. Normally, this results in a RTO just after the airspeed comes alive when the flight crew cross-checks its airspeed.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
 
ALTF4
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RE: Honeybee In Pitot Tube :-D

Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:52 am

This happened to me a few months ago when I was piloting a Cessna 172. Granted, it wasn't a honey bee, but rather some other little critter. In the Cessna, the airspeed indicator fluttered around 40 but didn't go past it. I was by myself with less than half fuel on a cold day. By the time I double-checked RPM after seeing the airspeed stop increasing and checking a few other things, I realized what happened and that I better get the plane off the ground because I was probably holding it down and didn't want to abort at that speed. Flew the pattern by feel with no incident.

Now, since a Cessna 172 with no load leaps off the ground pretty quickly, I don't think it's far-fetched to think a decent pilot (I'm low-time, so I don't count myself as experienced; this was the first abnormal situation I experienced) could make that sort of a mistake. An A320, however, takes a little longer to get off the ground. Any idea would the take-off not have been rejected in this case? Not saying the pilots did something wrong - just wondering what could have caused that.
The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Honeybee In Pitot Tube :-D

Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:17 am

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 3):
Now, since a Cessna 172 with no load leaps off the ground pretty quickly, I don't think it's far-fetched to think a decent pilot (I'm low-time, so I don't count myself as experienced; this was the first abnormal situation I experienced) could make that sort of a mistake. An A320, however, takes a little longer to get off the ground. Any idea would the take-off not have been rejected in this case? Not saying the pilots did something wrong - just wondering what could have caused that.

A couple of factors that make it different in an airliner.
- A Cessna 172 has 1 pitot tube feeding one airspeed indicator through a single pitot/static system. If any of that fails, no more airspeed indication. A large airliner has 2 or more pitot tubes that feed independent pitot/static systems and independent instruments. The crew thus has at least two airspeed indicators, plus IRS and worst case groundspeed from GPS. Plenty of information to use if you do take off with one clogged tube.
- I haven't flown an Airliner except in a sim, but even there I noticed how "feeling" airspeed was really not possible like in a Cessna 172. I'll let the airliner pilots weigh in but my theory is that airliners are way harder to fly by feel.
- When the airspeed comes alive in a Cessna, you're not far from rotation. At the same speed in an airliner, you still have a ways to go. Braking from 55 knots in a Cessna can be a wobbly experience without much braking action. Braking from 55 knots in an airliner is a non-event.


On a related note, even independent instruments won't help if the crew ignores discrepancy. I watched a "Mayday/Air Crash Investigation" episode about an issue with instrumentation discrepancy yesterday. This was Korean Air Cargo 8590. The Captain's artificial horizon was not showing bank, so he kept putting in more roll to turn left. The comparator saw that there was a discrepancy and blared a warning at the crew. The F/O, whose instrument was working, said and did nothing. The F/E yelled "bank!" at the Captain but it was too late. After less than a minute the plane crashed into the ground with ninety degrees of bank. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFH6jlKdr0w

[Edited 2013-03-31 20:21:52]
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Honeybee In Pitot Tube :-D

Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:23 am

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):

Actually fairly common. Our standard procedure is to install pitot covers on any ground segment over 6 hours.

Out here ....The covers come on if the halt > 2hrs....
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
DashTrash
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RE: Honeybee In Pitot Tube :-D

Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:45 pm

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 3):
This happened to me a few months ago when I was piloting a Cessna 172. Granted, it wasn't a honey bee, but rather some other little critter. In the Cessna, the airspeed indicator fluttered around 40 but didn't go past it. I was by myself with less than half fuel on a cold day. By the time I double-checked RPM after seeing the airspeed stop increasing and checking a few other things, I realized what happened and that I better get the plane off the ground because I was probably holding it down and didn't want to abort at that speed. Flew the pattern by feel with no incident.

I had the same thing happen in a 337. I aborted the takeoff, but with little fuel and just me in it, the airplane came off the ground pretty much on its own right as I was pulling the power off. Turned into a no flap landing. 10,000 ft runway made me feel the best course of action was to reject the takeoff. I think in a bug smasher you're better off rejecting at higher speeds than flying with a dead airspeed indicator as long as you have the runway remaining to do it safely.

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