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Hawkesbury floatplane accident highlights the insidious danger of CO exposure

Home Articles Hawkesbury floatplane accident highlights the insidious danger of CO exposure

Hawkesbury floatplane accident highlights the insidious danger of CO exposure

Carbon monoxide exposure likely significantly degraded the ability of the pilot of a Beaver floatplane to safely operate the aircraft before it collided with water in Jerusalem Bay on the Hawkesbury north of Sydney in December 2017, fatally injuring all six people on board, the final report from Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation into the accident has found.

As advised with the ATSB’s publication of two safety advisory notices arising from the investigation in July 2020, several pre-existing cracks in the aircraft engine’s exhaust collector ring very likely released exhaust gas into the engine/accessory bay, which then very likely entered the cabin through holes in the main firewall where three bolts were missing. The pilot also undertook a 27-minute taxi – to free the dock for another arriving and departing aircraft – before the passengers were boarded which likely exacerbated the pilot’s elevated carboxyhaemoglobin level.

Link to the ATSB full report

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