Many systems found in nature are susceptible to tipping, where they can shift from one stable dynamical state to another. This shift in dynamics can be unfavorable in systems found in various fields ranging from ecology to finance. Hence, it is important to identify the factors that can lead to tipping in a physical system. Tipping can mainly be brought about by a change in parameter or due to the influence of external fluctuations. Further, the rate at which the parameter is varied also determines the final state that the system attains. Here, we show preconditioned rate induced tipping in experiments and in a theoretical model of a thermoacoustic system. We provide a specific initial condition (preconditioning) and vary the parameter at a rate higher than a critical rate to observe tipping. We find that the critical rate is a function of the initial condition. Our study is highly relevant because the parameters that dictate the asymptotic behavior of many physical systems are temporally dynamic. © 2017 The Author(s).