...Common Sense Preferred To Mandates

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The FAA last week told AVweb that it would be premature to comment in detail on the NTSB recommendation, because they had not yet had time to review it. "What we can say, is that we'll look at this seriously, as we do with all NTSB recommendations," said FAA spokesman Paul Takemoto. "We implement a large majority of NTSB recommendations -- they find our actions 'acceptable' 84 percent of the time -- 90 percent on urgent recommendations." Aviation columnist Mike Busch said in an e-mail to AVweb this weekend that while he disagrees with the ASF on the magnitude of the problem, he agrees with their position that the NTSB recommendation to mandate "FAA-approved" CO detectors in every cockpit might be a bit over the top ... and vastly increase the cost of the otherwise-affordable product. "I'm confident that any FAA-approved detector would cost 10 or 20 times what the currently available unapproved ones cost" ... "I can't see mandating the installation of a $1,000 or $2,000 panel-mounted unit when a $100 portable gets the job done just fine." Busch recently wrote an extensive report on CO detectors for AVweb and is a partner in Aeromedix.com, which sells CO detectors -- among a large list of other products. His position is that CO in the cockpit is "a much bigger safety problem for single-engine general aviation aircraft than what AOPA-ASF seems to believe." For a laundry list of reasons, every piston aircraft should have a CO test as part of each annual inspection at the very minimum, says Busch.