Thursday, October 23, 2008


"LOCAL MAN FOUND ASPHYXIATED," the headline screamed. Oh no, I thought, who was it this time? Please let it be someone I didn't know.

But it was someone I knew, a local pilot who owned a very nice vintage airplane. Someone I knew pretty well, an uncle of a friend's wife. He had a spot of trouble with the FAA a couple of years ago, and realized that it had been quite a while since his last Biennial Flight Review. Way more than two years. He called me and asked me if I would put a fake BFR endorsement in his logbook to ease things with the FSDO, and of course I refused. No hard feelings.

So, what happened? He drove his car into the garage and left it running. The investigators say that it was 100% clear that this was accidental. But carbon monoxide does not care whether it fills the house accidentally or on purpose, and there was enough there to kill him.

I cannot draw a lesson from this tragedy, other than a stark reminder that carbon monoxide kills.



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