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Static Pressure Chamber and Lines

in Flight Instruments

The static chamber is vented through small holes to the free undisturbed air on the side(s) of the aircraft. As the atmospheric pressure changes, the pressure is able to move freely in and out of the instruments through the small lines which connect the instruments into the static system. An alternate static source is provided in some aircraft to provide static pressure should the primary static source become blocked. The alternate static source is normally found inside of the flight deck. Due to the venturi effect of the air flowing around the fuselage, the air pressure inside the flight deck is lower than the exterior pressure.

When the alternate static source pressure is used, the following instrument indications are observed:

  1. The altimeter indicates a slightly higher altitude than actual.
  2. The ASI indicates an airspeed greater than the actual airspeed.
  3. The VSI shows a momentary climb and then stabilizes if the altitude is held constant.

Each pilot is responsible for consulting the Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) or the Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH) to determine the amount of error that is introduced into the system when utilizing the alternate static source. In an aircraft not equipped with an alternate static source, an alternate method of introducing static pressure into the system should a blockage occur is to break the glass face of the VSI. This most likely renders the VSI inoperative. The reason for choosing the VSI as the instrument to break is that it is the least important static source instrument for flight.


51DPcJTcMwL._SX381_BO1,204,203,200_Learn more about all of your flight instruments with the Instrument Flying Handbook. This is the FAA’s primary pilot resource for instrument flight rules (IFR) covering everything pertinent to operating an aircraft in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) or without reference to outside visuals, relying solely on the information gleaned from the cockpit.


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