Aviation safety investigations & reports

Partial pilot incapacitation - Raytheon B200, VH-MSH, near Williamtown Airport, NSW, 5 August 2012

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 5 August 2012, the pilot and flight nurse of a Raytheon B200 aircraft, registered VH-MSH, were tasked with transporting a patient from Port Macquarie to Sydney, New South Wales.

After departing Sydney, the pilot reported that he began to feel unwell, experiencing abdominal pain and nausea. When about 10 NM to the south-west of Williamtown Airport, his conditioned worsened. After donning his crew oxygen mask, the pilot’s health improved and a return to Sydney was commenced. During the descent, the pilot removed his oxygen mask and, soon after, he began to feel unwell again

The aircraft landed at Sydney and after shutdown the pilot became physically ill. The pilot recovered from the illness about 1 week later. It was determined that he most likely suffered viral gastroenteritis.

While pilots conduct a pre-flight inspection of their aircraft to determine airworthiness, this incident highlights the importance of pilots also assessing their own well being. Tools such as the ‘I’m safe checklist’ allows pilots to determine if they are physically and mentally prepared for a flight.

Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 13

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 169KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOCX: 219KB]
General details
Date: 05 August 2012   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0625 UTC    
Location   (show map): near Williamtown Airport   Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation  
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Flight crew incapacitation  
Release date: 27 November 2012   Occurrence class: Operational  
Report status: Final   Occurrence category: Incident  
  Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Raytheon Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 200  
Aircraft registration VH-MSH  
Serial number BB-1787  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Sydney, NSW  
Destination Port Macquarie, NSW  
Last update 14 November 2018