The slow, insidious degradation

by | 2019-08-16

We have to deal with the issue every day we fly. That is why we are taught early on its lethal effect. Write the exam with 99 other questions then forget about it, you got the licence, right? Never mind how to deal with it or seriously prevent it. I would venture that is why repairing or purchasing exhaust piping for an aircraft is so bloody expensive.

I am not going into the theory aspect of carbon monoxide poisoning. Information is everywhere. I am just appalled that in 2019 we still have to deal with this (manageable) monster. In January 2019 a soccer (football) star got killed in an accident over the English Channel. Yesterday, I read that the British Air Accident Investigations Branch have discovered a lethal dose of carboxyhemoglobin within the blood vessels of the deceased athlete.

As the saying unfortunately applies to CO poisoning: out of sight out of mind.

The market abounds with 5$ solutions for detecting carbon monoxide in the cockpit. Pilots love affordable solutions. These unstable chemical detectors at first glance sincerely appear to do the trick in detecting CO. Really? First one has to be able to observe the little CO triggered dark spots especially when already taking in the bad stuff. These detectors barely turn dark with levels 200 part per million (PPM). Health issues begin way before that level. Never mind pure unbiased judgement so deeply required to fly.

With current technology, one has to dish out 150$ to equip the aircraft with a CO detector that will sound a rather unbearable scream to advise of the impending danger.

I have acquired one for obvious reasons. Even in a light twin: especially with a Janitrol to heat it up, I take no chances.

The issue of protection is a no brainer, education is of immeasurable value and thight maintenance is always worth its investment.

Fly safe.

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