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Don’t count on symptoms of carbon monoxide to warn you: It’s colorless, odorless, and tasteless, although it is usually found with exhaust gases and fumes. If you smell fumes or feel any of the following symptoms, you should assume that carbon monoxide is present.
Initial symptoms include feelings of sluggishness, warmth, and tightness across forehead, followed by headache, throbbing, pressure at the temples and ringing in the ears. Severe headache, nausea, dizziness, and dimming of vision may follow. If any of the above conditions exist, take the following precautions:
- Shut off the cabin heater or any other opening to the engine compartment.
- Open a fresh air source immediately.
- Don’t smoke.
- Use 100 percent oxygen if available.
- Land as soon as possible.
- Be sure the source of the contamination is corrected before further flight.