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3 Answers

IFR Required Equipment

Asked by: 5103 views , , ,
FAA Regulations, General Aviation, Instrument Rating

Essentially, can I file/fly an aircraft IFR without pitot heat (older a/c and not installed)?

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3 Answers



  1. Nathan Parker on May 23, 2012

    It depends on what set of regulations the aircraft was certified under.  The current Part 23 requires pitot heat for IFR flight certification and so would need to be functioning:
     
     23.1323   Airspeed indicating system.
    […]
    (d) If certification for instrument flight rules or flight in icing conditions is requested, each airspeed system must have a heated pitot tube or an equivalent means of preventing malfunction due to icing.

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  2. Best Answer


    John D. Collins on May 23, 2012

    If your aircraft was manufactured under CAR 3 or had its certification based on the standards of 23.1323 prior to Feb 2, 1991, there was no requirement for a heated pitot for IFR flight.  Since you claim that the aircraft you are asking about does not have a pitot heater, if it was approved for IFR flight, it doesn’t require one. Most of our aircraft are certified under the old CAR 3 standards, and only relatively recent designs are certified under part 23, which came into existence in 1965.  So aircraft such as the Bonanza, Cessna 172, Piper 140, and older designs don’t have to meet the requirements of part 23 with a few exceptions.  If your POH should have a Kinds of operation Limits in the Limitations section and if it lists IFR Day and Night, then it is approved for IFR.  There is usually a table you can find in the limitations section that lists equipment that is required for the various conditions of flight, that lists if a specific piece of equipment is required for day VFR, night VFR, day IFR, or Night IFR.  If it lists a pitot heater and it is required for IFR, it will be noted in this list.  Other considerations for equipment are stated in FAR 91.205 (required equipment) and 91.213 (inoperative equipment).  You should review these and make sure you are in compliance for IFR flight and have handled any inoperative equipment properly. 

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  3. Kelly Smith on May 24, 2012

    Nathan/John–Thank you both for the prompt responses. I appreciate the time you both took. It is certainly a testament to the folks monitoring this site.
    I acknowledge CFR 23.1323, but it is the second answer that I am more interested in…
    It is a Piper Cherokee built in ’67. I have the “Piper Cherokee 140 Owner’s Handbook” and also the “Piper PA28-140 Flight Manual VB-160”. Neither of them talks to pitot heat for flight in VMC/IMC and any required equipment. The only place I can find mention of pitot heat is a part of some optional equipment for weight and balance (if installed).
    I’ll have to try to get the A&P that signed off the last inspection to get better fidelity on the legalities of IFR certification for this a/c. I’ll see if it is still certified under ‘the old rules’. By the way, where can you find a copy of those older rules? I either can’t find a site or I can’t get the one site (has a selectable date box) to work properly.
    I’ll keep looking. In the mean time, fly safe, Cheers,
    Kelly

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