NTSB identifies CO incapacitation in GA aircraft
Again demands that FAA issue mandatory regulation
through FAA NORSEE an approved Detector can be bought NOW
The NTSB issued a stern warning to the FAA and the General Aviation community about the dangers of undetected Carbon Monoxide. The Report demanded that the FAA require CO detectors in general aviation aircraft. The release chronicled the Board’s past recommendations to further embarrass the audience of their CO warning.
GREAT POLICY Recommendation, but singularly unaware of the FAA’s regulatory hurdles, its existing GA safety actions, NORSEE and the availability of FAA approved CO detectors. Understanding the timeline of an FAA mandate and knowing about the NORSEE approval of a CO director would have translated a recommendation to more likely immediate safety action. The Board’s admonition to AOPA to “inform their members about the dangers of CO poisoning, encourage them to install CO detectors” ignored that the association in May 2020 referred its members to the existing solution . The approved answer is available.
General Aviation constitutes a different segment of flight regulation. Unlike others under the FAA’s safety surveillance, GA is composed largely of single person operators. Internal management resources are framed in the singular and the more mandates imposed, the greater the likelihood that safety messages get lost in an avalanche of long, technical documents.
To reach a broader approach to GA safety, the FAA established the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) “The GAJSC analyzes aviation safety data to identify emerging issues and develop mitigation strategies to address and prioritize safety issues. GAJSC participants include the Federal Aviation Administration and industry stakeholders, including pilot organizations, flight instructors, mechanics, builders, and manufacturers.”
One of the products of the GA solution-driven approach is NORSEE which was set up in 2016.
Aithre Aviation saw the risk of CO to GA and created an FAA Part 23 approved Detector and it relied on the NORSEE process– granted February 19, 2020. Its safety equipment is available NOW- immediate solution to NTSB identified DANGER.
The non-regulatory approach of informing the GA sector of this and all approved Non Required Safety Enhancing Equipment is probably the fastest avenue to reducing risks of CO incapacitation.
WASHINGTON (Jan. 20, 2022) — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)has called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)for the SECOND TIME to require carbon monoxide detectors in general aviation aircraft, the agency said in a safety recommendation report released Thursday.
The NTSB identified 31 accidents between 1982 and 2020 attributed to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Twenty-three of those accidents were fatal, killing 42 people and seriously injuring four more. A CO detector was found in only one of the airplanes and it was not designed to provide an active audible or visual alert to the pilot, features the NTSB also recommended.
“Carbon monoxide is dangerous for pilots and passengers alike—which is why the NTSB recommended that general aviation aircraft be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors in 2004,” said Chair Jennifer Homendy. “ONCE AGAIN, we’re asking the FAA to act before lives are lost to carbon monoxide poisoning.”
An odorless gas byproduct of engine combustion, CO can enter the cabin of general aviation aircraft through defective or corroded exhaust systems or damaged or defective firewalls, door seals, landing gear compartments or steering boots.
The NTSB, citing numerous accidents caused by CO poisoning, FIRST recommended the FAA require CO detectors in general aviation aircraft with enclosed cabins and forward-mounted engines in 2004.
The FAA declined to require detectors and instead recommended that general aviation airplane owners and operators install them on a voluntary basis. The FAA also recommended exhaust system inspections and muffler replacements at intervals they believed would address equipment failures before they led to CO poisoning.
The NTSB said in the report that the list of CO related accidents showed that the FAA’s actions were “inadequate to protect pilots against the hazards of CO poisoning.” The NTSB also said that since toxicology testing for CO was only performed as part of fatal accidents when a suitable blood specimen could be obtained, the actual number of accidents caused be CO poisoning may be higher.
The NTSB also recommended that the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) [AITHRE INTRODUCES CO DETECTOR FOR THE PANEL] and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) inform their members about the dangers of CO poisoning, encourage them to install CO detectors and ensure their aircraft exhaust systems are thoroughly inspected during regular maintenance.
The safety recommendation report is just the latest effort by the NTSB to alert the general aviation community to the dangers of CO poisoning. Links to the safety alerts, videos and blogs the NTSB issued about this flight safety hazard are provided below:
- Safety Alert – “Pilots: Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning”: https://go.usa.gov/xtjAF
- Video – “Pilots: Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning”: https://youtu.be/i2q7TISBFbc
- Safety Alert – “Mechanics: Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning”: https://go.usa.gov/xtjAe
- Video – “Mechanics: Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning”: https://youtu.be/qZuJbuSZG-w
- NTSB Safety Compass blog – “General Aviation’s Silent Killer in the Sky”: https://safetycompass.wordpress.com/2020/09/23/general-aviations-silent-killer-in-the-sky/
 The Aithre Shield eDOT 5.0 Portable carbon monoxide detector with iOS App available on phone and watch is one of 13 approvals under NORSEE.
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