Reply To: Maintenance Monday

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Don GrilloDon Grillo

    Hello Frank,

    I am not aware of any of our altimeters being off that much (100-300 feet) when set to barometric pressure.  For our training ships (the 2-33’s), the altimeter is set to field elevation of 900 feet during the before takeoff checklist regardless of what the bp is. We don’t use the barometric pressure that is reported at nearby airports (Dupage or DeKalb in our case).  As you noted, our club ships, with the exception of the PW-5 are for local flights only and we do not fly them cross country.  Flying into different air masses is not a concern for our short local flights.

    However, I will make note of your write-up and check the altimeters in both 2-33’s.

    Even so, as a glider pilot you will want to develop the skill of flying without the use of an altimeter, and learn to judge your altitude by visual sight only.  As a student, your instructor will, or should, fly a few flights with you without the use of the altimeter.

    What instruments are required in a 2-33?  Your 2-33 POH will tell you.

    Maintenance Committee Chairman


    Frank Smith wrote;
    Have you all noticed how extremely inconsistent the altimeters are when attempting to set them to indicate field elevation?
    I’ve noticed wild variations of barometric pressure reading vs indicated altitude when setting altimeters on the pumpkin and stars stripes to field elevation.
    How much does calibration at an avionics shop cost??
    Inexperienced nuggets like myself can eyeball somewhat. However; 100 to 300 feet variation from actual altitude MSL can make a world of difference particularly whenever more than two to five miles from the airstrip.
    There’s extremely little margin for error when there’s little to no lift on some days. It’s ok for within 2 to 4 miles away or staying in the pattern. Any other distance is potentially uncomfortable below 3000 AGL