On 7 July 2011, a Skywest Airlines operated Fokker B.V. F28 MK 0100 aircraft, registered VH-FNU, departed West Angelas mine site on a charter passenger flight to Perth, Western Australia.
While in the cruise, the copilot reported feeling pain in his lower abdomen. The pain continued to increase during the flight until he was unable to continue his flight duties. Soon after, the copilot became unconscious. After regaining consciousness, he reported feeling ill and nauseous, with continued pain. The senior cabin crew member assisted administering oxygen to the copilot, locking his shoulder harness in place, and moving his seat rearwards. The copilot's pain and nausea persisted for the remainder of the flight. Despite remaining conscious, he did not resume his flight duties.
After landing, the copilot was transported to hospital, being released about 2.5 hours later. The copilot was further examined by a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner, who determined that he had most likely suffered an aggravated acute gastric event.
Flight crew incapacitation may be subtle, or sudden, partial or complete; it may be due to the effects of a pre-existing medical condition, the development of an acute medical condition, or some physiological event. It is important that pilots not only know what incapacitation is and how to avoid it, but how to respond when faced with such an event.