On 27 December 2010, a SOCATA TB-10 Tobago aircraft, registered VH-YTF, was being operated on a solo flying training exercise. The planned exercise was from Parafield, South Australia to Mildura, Victoria, then overflying Remark, Swan Reach, and returning to Parafield. On climb out of Renmark, the pilot reported feeling hot and began to sweat. He checked that the cabin heat was selected off and the cabin air vents were open and climbed to 6,500 ft to allow cooler air into the aircraft.
The pilot reported that he lost consciousness in the climb with the aircraft auto-pilot engaged in heading mode and the elevator pitch setting trimmed for the climb attitude.
It is estimated that the pilot remained unconscious for approximately 55 minutes. The aircraft remained on a heading of 2340 magnetic and climbed to 8,000 ft before descending again to 6,500 ft.
The pilot regained consciousness approximately 12 NM (22 km) south-west of Adelaide Airport and responded to a radio call from Adelaide Radar. He was issued a clearance to return to Parafield Airport.
Subsequent medical examinations could not find the cause of the loss of consciousness. The pilot's medical certificate was subsequently suspended.
Both the ATSB and Civil Aerospace Medical Institute of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration have conducted recent research into pilot incapacitation. The reports conclude that medical incapacitation is a rare event. The most common causes of loss of consciousness were gastrointestinal, neurological, cardiac and urological events.
|Date:||27 December 2010||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||1635||Investigation level:||Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||Renmark Aerodrome, W M 19Km|
|State:||South Australia||Occurrence type:||Flight crew incapacitation|
|Release date:||16 May 2011||Occurrence category:||Serious Incident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||None|
|Aircraft manufacturer||S.O.C.A.T.A.-Groupe Aerospatiale|
|Type of operation||Flying Training|
|Damage to aircraft||Nil|
|Departure point||Renmark, SA|