ABOVE: The CAA is investigating what ‘may be holding people back from using this potentially life-saving equipment’ 

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has proposed that safety in light aircraft could be improved with the fitting of active carbon monoxide detectors in some piston-engine types. This follows on from what the CAA terms ‘extensive work… undertaken in the last three years’ to raise general aviation pilots’ awareness of carbon monoxide, including a survey undertaken in June 2023. 

Proposals set out by the regulator are ‘integral to understanding what may be holding pilots back from using this potentially lifesaving equipment, and whether the UK Civil Aviation Authority should be doing more to encourage its adoption,’ notes the CAA.

“As recent accidents have shown, carbon monoxide entering from aircraft heating systems is a risk to pilots and passengers, but one that can be mitigated with a cheap and easily available bit of kit,” explained Michael Macdonald, Head of General Aviation at the CAA.

Two fatal accidents identified by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) since 2000 each claimed the lives of two people, with the odourless, colourless gas believed to have been a ‘casual factor’ in fifteen other events.

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