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May 09, 2005



Every airplane has this tube. It is called a "pitot tube" and is installed facing forward on airplanes in order to measure the air speed. The mechanism is very primitive. As the airplane flies, air comes in from this tube and blows up a balloon moving the needle of the airspeed indicator according to the quantity of air which came in. To adjust the error of low air pressure at high altitude, there is also a "static hole" on the side surface of airplanes. These are the devices showing the relative air speed. That's it. Very simple! It is so simple that it sometimes indicates a strange value. For instance, while we're making steep turns, more air comes in to the static hole than to the pitot tube, and the indicated air speed becomes near to zero although the air plane is flying! We pilots have to anticipate this kind of phenomena and always remain calm.

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