AOPA Says CO Detectors Not Necessary...

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Concerns Over CO In The Cockpit...

When the NTSB late last month asked the FAA to consider making CO detectors mandatory in GA aircraft, AOPA's Air Safety Foundation (ASF) was quick to respond, saying that such a requirement is not necessary. "We found just 10 accidents caused by CO poisoning in fixed-wing singles since 1993 in our ASF GA accident database," said Bruce Landsberg, ASF executive director. (Some dispute the figure, citing difficulty in correlating statistics with often-ambiguous but still dangerous CO-induced degradation of pilot performance.) "That's one a year. While we agree that an FAA-approved CO detector could be helpful, putting the money they would cost into pilot education on the much more common killers, such as low-level maneuvering flight and continued VFR into instrument weather, would be much more effective." The ASF said a market survey showed commercially available (non-aviation) CO detectors run from $8 to almost $250. Should the FAA adopt the NTSB suggestion to require such units, the cost of CO detectors meeting a yet-to-be-developed FAA technical standard order would almost certainly be a minimum of several hundred dollars per airplane, the ASF said.