Airspeed indicator doesn't work in bad weather?

Pro Member First Officer
KevinTsai First Officer

Recently, when I was flying from San Francisco to Zurich in fspassengers demo, I got a problem. While I was descending through the clouds and light snow nearing 4,000 feet, all of a sudden, the airspeed indicator broke and shows zero. I was using the autothrottle at the time at 200 knots with flaps. The autothrottle must've mistaken that the plane needs to go faster and raised to full power and the flaps broke. Then the airspeed indicator was working again and shows over 300 knots. Anyways, I landed safely in Zurich without declaring an emergency to avoid scaring the passengers.

I wondered, why the airspeed indicator stopped working when flying through bad weather? I been through the same situation a few times and I never know why. Any one can explain this to me?

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Pro Member Chief Captain
VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Really strange phenomenon to me. At first I thought you encountered real strong head wind. Have you set any faliure percentage in your aircraft settings?

x pilot Guest

what plane you flyin? try turn on the pitot heat or anti ice!

Pro Member First Officer
KevinTsai First Officer

Maybe I encountered some headwinds. And oh I turned on the antiice and maybe the pitot heat. What does the pitot heat do? Keep mistaking it for PiLot heat. I didn't do any failure percentage and I flew in an A380.

x pilot Guest

The airspeed indicator is a dynamic instrument and requires forces of nature for it to work. Basicallt depanding on the type of plane there is holow tube, under the wing or on the fus, when the aircraft goes forward molecules of air pass into the tube etc and give a IAS on the instrument in the cockpit! however if flying through bad weather/ ice/ snow, freezing rain etc, if ice blocks up the pitot tube hole then it will not work as the air wont be able to pass through! so thats why there is pitot heat wich is a element that heats up the tube to prevent ice forming or melting ice! as for anti-ice, or de-icing equipment there are different systems.


Pro Member First Officer
Kurt Stevens (KurtPStevens) First Officer

I'm with X Pilot on this one. Pitot tube must have frozen.

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