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24-Month Pitot/Static Test: Required?

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FAA Regulations

So this came up at work yesterday, from a highly experienced instructor while working with his CFI student:  Everyone always "knows" that the 24-month pitot/static inspection is required...  At least that's what people have just always said.  But reading the FARs, we couldn't find anything requiring it for VFR flights.  The FAR everyone seems to refer to is 91.411, but it specifies it applies to IFR only.  The only other one we can find is 91.205 where it states there must be an "operable? AI and altimeter, but it doesn't outline inspection requirements.  So, what are we missing?  Or is this "requirement" a misconception that's not well known?

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2 Answers



  1. Kris Kortokrax on Dec 18, 2013

    The wording would seem to allow one to fly into O’Hare’s 30 mile Mode C ring and into the Class B airspace VFR. Would anyone expect that it would be OK for the Mode C altitude reporting equipment described in 91.411 to be misstating the aircraft’s altitude?

    Another question would be: Is there an avionics shop that would do the 91.413 check and not do the 91.411 check? Or is it a package deal?

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  2. Mark Kolber on Dec 21, 2013

    The requirement is a misconception that is not well-known. The 24-month pitot-static checks are technically not required for VFR-only flight.

    Like, Kris, I’ve not heard of the transponder/pitot/static testing not being done together, but that’s mostly because most of the aircraft I’ve flown have been IFR capable.

    The other issue, which Kris also hit on, is what happens if you are in Class B or C and are given a specific altitude to fly? I would bet that it would not be a defense to a 91.123(a) or (b) violation to say “I’m a VFR-only pilot so I never have my static tested for accuracy. I just decided, what the heck, I’m going there anyway.”

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