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Dornier Do 228-202, ZK-VIR, was carrying out a positioning flight from Westport to Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand. At about 50 NM north of Christchurch, while cruising at 10,000 feet, both pilots reported becoming 'giddy' and close to fainting. The pilots turned off the cockpit heating and directed external air into the cockpit. A PAN call was made and the aircraft descended to the area minimum safe altitude of 9,000 feet. The crew elected to continue to Christchurch where they were able to make a safe landing.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) of New Zealand initiated an investigation into the incident, TAIC reference: 07-002. TAIC investigators obtained the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) from the aircraft and requested assistance from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to recover any information that may have been recorded. In accordance with clause 5.23 of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the ATSB appointed an Accredited Representative to assist TAIC and initiated an investigation under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

The CVR was transported to the ATSB audio laboratory in Canberra for examination in the custody of a TAIC investigator. The CVR information was downloaded on the 11 April 2007. The CVR and copies of the recovered information were provided to the TAIC investigator to be transported back to New Zealand.

The TAIC is responsible for releasing a final investigation report regarding this occurrence. Once it has been completed, a copy of the TAIC investigation report (07-002) may be found at: www.taic.org.nz or by contacting:

PO Box 10-323
Wellington 6036
New Zealand

General details
Date: 30 March 2007 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0205 UTC  
Location   (show map):93 km N Christchurch Aerodrome Investigation type: External Investigation 
State: International  
Release date: 15 April 2008 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
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Last update 18 April 2018