Altimeters can drift very easily based on weather conditions and air pressure. For this reason alone, it is vitally important to calibrate an altimeter to ensure accuracy of measurements and proper functionality. Altimeters that have been calibrated are known for their precision and resolution. These two factors are an utmost necessity for altitude readings and safe flight.


Precision of an altimeter is crucial for accurate and efficient pressure measurements. Without precise measurement of pressure, altitude can’t be measure properly during flight, which could result in hazardous safety risks and extreme damage to an aircraft. To avoid these situation, calibration of an altimeter should be performed. When an altimeter is calibrated, precision is guaranteed.


Altimeters that have been calibrated can be relied on for their resolution. If the air pressure being measured is off, the altimeter should be able to detect the change and alert the pilot by showing inaccurate measurements. If an altimeter is not calibrated, there will be no set or repeatable measurement, therefore making it hard for pilots to detect if there is an issue. Again, this could result is many undesirable risks and could be avoid if calibration is performed. Resolution is a given is an altimeter has reliable measurements from calibration.


When an altimeter has been calibrated and precision and resolution are guaranteed, safety becomes a given. Although overall safety can never be 100% promised anywhere, calibration allows you to feel at ease about the overall functionality of any device. If an altimeter is functioning properly and reading the correct measurements of pressure, altitude can be read accurately, which in turn leads to a smoother flight.

Notably, an altimeter is part of a whole system, the pitot-static system. If the altimeter is not operating to its full potential, risk of system failure is high. In order for safe flight, the pitot-static system has to have all parts operating properly; therefore calibration of the altimeter, and all other components of the system, should be calibrated frequently.

How often should you be calibrating your entire pitot static system?
Find out in our guide.