Aircraft components need periodic maintenance, this should be the same for the pitot tube that is an essential instrument for pilots. So do you know when should a pitot tube go into maintenance? I can't find relevant information online


1 Answer 1


The pitot tube its self (the actual metal tube) can be affected by clogging as well as direct impacts or the dreaded pitot tube cover left on before takeoff but broadly speaking are just metal tubes and a somewhat "simple" part for what its worth.

In the US if you are flying IFR your pitot static system needs regular checks, this is generally when issues with the system (and potentially the tube) can be found and lead to replacement.

While some aircraft may have maintenance life schedules for pitot tubes none of the small GA planes I fly require them to be replaced. For planes not flown all that often corrosion can be an issue since they are generally bare metal tubes. The pitot tube should always be checked in your pre-flight walk around.

  • $\begingroup$ What about a composite material pitot tube? $\endgroup$
    – Faito Dayo
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ @FaitoDayo can you provide an example of one? All the Pitot tubes i have encountered thus far are metal $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ I am trying to design one, that's the reason behind my question. Also, what materials did they use for pitot tube? Have there ever been a incident when the pitot tube is bent by pressure difference between top and bottom surface of the wing? $\endgroup$
    – Faito Dayo
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ @FaitoDayo They are typically metal as they often contain a heating element (which can be problematic for composite structures. As for incidents thats likely the topic for a different question, typically questions do not belong in comments here. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 18:43

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