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Ensuring Safe Skies: Exploring Cockpit Carbon Monoxide Detector Options

Updated: Dec 15, 2023


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In the realm of aviation safety, every detail matters, and the threat of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure in the cockpit is a serious concern. CO is an odorless, colorless gas that can be produced by internal combustion engines, and if undetected, it poses a significant risk to pilots and passengers alike, and often doesn't end well. To mitigate this danger, aviation enthusiasts and professionals alike turn to cockpit carbon monoxide detectors. In this article, we'll explore the importance of these detectors and the various options available to ensure a safe flying experience.

Understanding the Threat:

Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of the incomplete combustion of carbon-containing fuels. Aircraft, with their internal combustion engines, are susceptible to CO leakage, especially in confined spaces like the cockpit. Exposure to elevated levels of CO can lead to symptoms ranging from headaches and dizziness to more severe consequences, including unconsciousness and death. The stealthy nature of this gas makes it imperative to have reliable detection systems in place.

The Importance of Cockpit Carbon Monoxide Detectors:

Cockpit carbon monoxide detectors act as the first line of defense against this silent threat. By providing real-time monitoring of CO levels in the aircraft, these detectors alert pilots to potential dangers, allowing them to take corrective actions promptly. The significance of these devices cannot be overstated, considering the potential risks associated with prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide. Fortunately, we have many portable options to help us fight this invisible threat.

Options for Cockpit Carbon Monoxide Detection:

The Sensorcon AV8 Inspector is a portable, professional-grade Carbon Monoxide monitor designed for aviation.

The detector boasts the following features:

  • Portable and lightweight

  • Visual and Audio alarm

  • Water-resistant and shock-resistant

  • Battery life up to 2 years

  • Removable mount

This detector is great for aircraft rentals or for your own aircraft

Lightspeed Aviation introduced a headset with a build-in CO-detector! AOPA's review of this innovative product is in the video link below

The Sentry ADS-B receiver by ForeFlight has been well-received by pilots its multifunctional capabilities. It is primarily known for its ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) receiver functionality, however it also allows pilots to also receive real-time weather information, traffic data, and other relevant data while in-flight.

Some versions of this product include a built-in carbon monoxide (CO) detector, providing an additional layer of safety for pilots as a nice bonus.

The Sentry is also a portable product so you can take it from aircraft to aircraft with a long battery life to help keep you safe during your flight.


As aviation technology continues to evolve, so too do the options for cockpit carbon monoxide detection. Pilots must prioritize safety, and investing in a reliable CO detection system is a crucial step toward ensuring the well-being of everyone on board. Enjoy the skies!

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