Aircraft crashes from failed pitot tubes
Please view this article here to get an understanding of this particular problem.
Required solution: pilot retraining or aircraft reengineering? The FAA will choose the prior but I recommend the latter. Why? A very simple electronic circuit can be introduced into the pitot-tube heater supply to monitor current consumption of the heaters. If you're flying under cold-wet conditions, if your airspeed indicators lean toward zero, if 'all of a sudden' you as pilot notice this, chances are, your heaters failed and not your wings. This requires some pilot reeducation. But I insist including a current consumption monitor and flagging the pilots as required during specified periods of a flight plan (perhaps avoiding takeoff and landing to avoid pilot distractions) will increase aircraft, airfleet, and global air activity safety.
Physically, you need a circuit at each of the pitot tubes, and if we're using RF to communicate, a receiver near the avionics to interface with their control system. A seasoned electrical engineer familiar with aircraft control systems could design this simple system in less than a day. Special attention must be given to create physically robust circuits but the final cost of this minor subsystem should be less than 400 dollars per aircraft.
Finally, the monitoring subsystem should minimize false-alarms such as when conditions are dry and warm which would not require pitot-tube heating and therefore no current consumption – the last thing we need is another alarm pilots must typically ignore.. No, to be effective, false-alarms must be 'designed out' of the system 'from scratch' by the electrical engineer. Otherwise, there's no point to implementing this particular safety subsystem.
A few years ago, I was passing through Japan and noticed a cracked exhaust cone on one of the engines.. It was noticeable to me. I changed my perspective to confirm it was not an optical illusion. In my 'professional opinion', there was no immediate danger to passengers/crew so I waited until landing to inform crew then ground maintenance crew. From ground level and cursory inspection, they would have missed it. I felt it my obligation to get the plane grounded at least for a thorough (engine) inspection .. Turns out it was grounded overnight.. I did my job.
How can we measure the loss of an entire aircraft full of people? Isn't 400 dollars per aircraft worth not having another one of these preventable accidents? The FAA is remiss if they don't implement a dual solution to this problem: pilot reeducation and aircraft reengineering.