by Nate "Buster" Jaros
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is deadly, period. It's odorless and colorless. While flying along, you might feel a little headache coming on, maybe some confusion or tiredness...and before you know it you and your passengers are incapacitated. It's a real threat in today's aging (and new) GA fleet. It's an insidious killer.
Our friends at Bold Method have an outstanding article here if you want to know more. But I'm sure you already know the dangers of CO poisoning, and if you're thinking those little paper colored disks are going to help you...think again. I've found some research and user testimonials that say they don't, or don't work so well. They also lose effectiveness over time sitting in your hot cockpit.
One of the best features of this little device is...it's little! I love it, and the fact that it can sit on my panel where I can see it easily. It doesn't take up much real estate, but it's effective in doing it's job well despite that size.
What's also interesting is that the Pocket CO detector will trigger an alarm at three different intervals depending on what levels of CO it detects. These trigger at 50, 125, and 400 ppm with 50 ppm being the maximum permissible OSHA workplace CO exposure level. Smart. I "ops check" mine every so often by placing it near my car exhaust, and it goes bonkers! Ops check good!
I know it's a little pricey, but your health and safety are worth it, aren't they?...at least that's how I justified it to my wife :-) But honestly, if you're into safety like me, you can't put a price on that.
If you're looking for a simple and effective CO detector for your cockpit, the Pocket CO is a great way to go, and I think it's the best!
Nate "Buster" Jaros
What is Engine Out? Relevant aviation topics, key safety techniques, war stories, and pilot tips from Fightersweep writer and the author of Engine Out Survival Tactics, Fighter Pilot Tactics for GA Engine Loss Emergencies.
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