"Ban Carb Heat," Says Safety Group

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A British aviation safety group has determined that, as a group, pilots can't be trusted with a carburetor heat control. In fact, the General Aviation Safety Council (GASCo) has released a paper suggesting that the familiar knob be dispensed with entirely in favor of "more reliable" solutions to the problem of carb ice. Among them are fuel injection, permanently warm induction air, heated carburetors and the use of diesel engines. Now, understand it's not carb heat itself that GASCo has a problem with. It describes carb heat as "an adequate solution" to the problem. The problem is with who's pulling that knob. GASCo says "it is unreliable because it relies upon pilots to apply it in good time." Pilots apparently can't be relied upon to decide when that time is, or to remember what the knob is for in the first place, so why not let technology march on and relieve them of the burden, GASCo wonders. "[GASCo] proposes to make its dislike of this device known to engine suppliers and manufacturers and consistently to press home its view," said the release. GASCo claims to represent 29 of the "leading bodies in British General Aviation."