Wednesday, October 3, 2007


The mixture needle controls fuel to the discharge nozzle. Mixture needle position can be adjusted using the mixture control.

The reduced air pressure, as well as the vaporization of fuel, contributes to the temperature decrease in the carburetor. Ice generally forms in the vicinity of the throttle valve and in the venturi throat. This restricts the flow of the fuel/air mixture and reduces power. If enough ice builds up, the engine may cease to operate.

Carburetor ice is most likely to occur when temperatures are below 70°F (21°C) and the relative humidity is above 80 percent. However, due to the sudden cooling that takes place in the carburetor, icing can occur even with temperatures as high as 100°F (38°C) and humidity as low as 50 percent. This temperature drop can be as much as 60 to 70°F. Therefore, at an outside air temperature of 100°F, a temperature drop of 70°F results in an air temperature in the carburetor of 30°F.

The first indication of carburetor icing in an airplane with a fixed-pitch propeller is a decrease in engine r.p.m., which may be followed by engine roughness. In an airplane with a constant-speed propeller, carburetor icing usually is indicated by a decrease in manifold pressure, but no reduction in r.p.m. Propeller pitch is automatically adjusted to compensate for loss of power. Thus, a constant r.p.m. is maintained. Although carburetor ice can occur during any phase of flight, it is particularly dangerous when using reduced power during a descent. Under certain conditions, carburetor ice could build unnoticed until you try to add power. To combat the effects of carburetor ice, engines with float-type carburetors employ a carburetor heat system.

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