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Crashes of commercial flights due to pitot covers left on

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:23 pm
by AvgWhiteGuy
Not due to ice blockage, not due heat failing, not due to anything else except the covers being left on - maintenance or otherwise. If a GA crash is near and dear to you, then please feel free
to mention the particulars of that.

Thank you.

Re: Crashes of commercial flights due to pitot covers left on

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:51 pm
by T18
Not pitot tubes but tape on static ports - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeroper%C3%BA_Flight_603

Re: Crashes of commercial flights due to pitot covers left on

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:53 pm
by extender
I know of at least two 757s that crashed from issues with the pitot static system.

Aero Peru Flight 603

Alas Nacionales Flight 301

Re: Crashes of commercial flights due to pitot covers left on

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:42 pm
by Horstroad
Blocked pitot probes isn't much of a problem and shouldn't result in a crash if they have been blocked before take off. You simply wouldn't see a speed increase during the take off roll and would abort. That's what the 80 or 100 knots callout is there for.
Blocked static ports are a bit more tricky. You wouldn't notice until after you start to climb. Only then would you see a decrease in airspeed and no change in altitude.

Re: Crashes of commercial flights due to pitot covers left on

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:29 pm
by debonair
extender wrote:
I know of at least two 757s that crashed from issues with the pitot static system.

Aero Peru Flight 603

Alas Nacionales Flight 301


The Alas Nacionales crash happened due to the lack of pitot covers, which would have most probably prevented the erroneous speed indication.

Re: Crashes of commercial flights due to pitot covers left on

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:41 pm
by AvgWhiteGuy
Thank you for your replies. Perhaps the better question would have been crashes that happened because of intentional blockage of the static ports. As I pilot, I do realize that no airspeed would almost certainly trigger an abort, but I thought there was a plane that managed to get airborne with them on.
So...any other crashes, other than the ones already listed, where the static ports were covered by maintenance, painters, etc. and the end result was a crash?
Promise, there's a point to this.

Re: Crashes of commercial flights due to pitot covers left on

Posted: Sat May 01, 2021 3:04 am
by a320fan
XL Airways 888T was an A320 that lost control on a test flight in France after repainting into Air New Zealand livery because water got into the AoA sensors during the repaint process, froze during the flight and played havoc with the flight control protections system.

Re: Crashes of commercial flights due to pitot covers left on

Posted: Sat May 01, 2021 10:37 am
by VSMUT
Birgenair 301, a 757, suspected that wasps had built a nest in one of the pitot tubes:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birgenair_Flight_301

Pitot tubes get really hot when heating is on. I've seen them glowing red-hot. If you left the cover on, it would probably melt/burn off.

Re: Crashes of commercial flights due to pitot covers left on

Posted: Sat May 01, 2021 4:44 pm
by debonair
VSMUT wrote:
Birgenair 301, a 757, suspected that wasps had built a nest in one of the pitot tubes:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birgenair_Flight_301

Pitot tubes get really hot when heating is on. I've seen them glowing red-hot. If you left the cover on, it would probably melt/burn off.


Yes, as written above. The airline was actually Alas Nacionales, but operated by Birgen Air. There a lot if crashes with pitot tubes problems, like AF447 as well, but the question was regarding "covers left on"... So none of these crashes account for.

Re: Crashes of commercial flights due to pitot covers left on

Posted: Sat May 01, 2021 5:48 pm
by LCDFlight
This feels like a photographer forgetting to take the lens cap off.

Re: Crashes of commercial flights due to pitot covers left on

Posted: Sun May 02, 2021 3:28 am
by vhqpa
Horstroad wrote:
Blocked pitot probes isn't much of a problem and shouldn't result in a crash if they have been blocked before take off. You simply wouldn't see a speed increase during the take off roll and would abort. That's what the 80 or 100 knots callout is there for.
Blocked static ports are a bit more tricky. You wouldn't notice until after you start to climb. Only then would you see a decrease in airspeed and no change in altitude.


You'd hope so, but there was an incident with at BNE a few years ago where a MH A330 took off despite abnormalities with the airspeed indicators with all three pitot covers in place. Luckily they were able to turn around and land safely.

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=213551

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2018/aair/ao-2018-053