The silent killer in the sky

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The NTSB’s Michelle Watters recently posted a blog on the agency’s Safety Compass newsletter advising general aviation pilots to watch out for the “silent killer in the sky” — carbon monoxide.

It begins: “As the weather gets colder and using your aircraft’s cabin heater becomes more of a necessity than a luxury, there’s no better time to start thinking about a plan for handling carbon monoxide. Commonly called the ‘silent killer,’ carbon monoxide is best known as the cause of household poisonings from oil or gas furnaces, stoves, water heaters, or portable generators or fireplaces. For general aviation pilots, carbon monoxide exposure poses a particularly concerning threat because impairing levels can build quickly in an enclosed cabin, and even nonfatal levels can lead to tragic consequences in flight.”

For example, in 2017, a private pilot was flying his newly purchased Varga 2150A airplane on a visual flight rules cross-country flight. After flying for about 80 minutes, the airplane suddenly entered a spiraling descent from cruise flight. Witnesses observed the airplane flying erratically at low altitude before it hit an open field near Bowling Green, Ohio. They stated that the engine was running until impact. Toxicological testing of the pilot’s blood found 55% carbon monoxide saturation (toxic level is 20%).

Read the entire post here, where she delves into the dangers of carbon monoxide, maintenance and inspection issues, and how to prevent carbon monoxide exposure.

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This post was originally published by General Aviation News on . Please visit the original post to read the complete article.

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