by John Chmiel
Wausau Flying Service, Inc.
Wausau, Wisconsin Downtown Airport
Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine, July 4, 2023
ATTENTION: Airworthiness issue for airplane pilots and mechanics in Wisconsin and any other areas that have had their visibility impacted by the Canadian wildfires. Wausau Flying Service has had three (3) airspeed indicator (ASI) failures in the last four (4) days on three (3) separate aircraft. All failures were detected during takeoff roll and all takeoffs were aborted before becoming airborne. Upon inspection by our mechanic, each aircraft pitot tube was packed with what appears to be ash which caused the failure. Don’t be surprised if it happens to you if you’re flying an airplane that has flown a lot recently under these smokey conditions.
I have never experienced this many of the same source of failure in such a short time-span. Besides these, I personally have experienced ASI failures maybe four (4) times in over 40 years.