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On 1 September 2013 the pilot of a Cessna 210 aircraft, registered VH-JMG (JMG), conducted a private flight from Port Macquarie to Bankstown, New South Wales.

The pilot regularly flew this route and was very familiar with the airspace. On this day, he was feeling unwell, so departed earlier than usual, at about 1510 Eastern Standard Time.

The flight went as planned, with the aircraft arriving at the cruise level of 8, 500 ft around Taree. The pilot requested and was issued a clearance to enter Class C controlled airspace at Williamtown.

The pilot put the aircraft on autopilot, and listened to music through the radio, whilst monitoring the aircraft.

Soon after, there was no further communication with JMG until the pilot called close to Bankstown.

The pilot had fallen asleep and re-entered Class C controlled airspace prior to waking up again. He conducted a spiral descent down to the Lane of Entry near Brooklyn Bridge. The flight then continued as planned with a safe arrival and landing at Bankstown.

This report highlights the need for all pilots to carefully consider their fitness to fly. This includes assessing fatigue and illness. The following publications provide additional information on pilot incapacitation and the ‘IMSAFE’ checklist:


Aviaiton Sort Investigation Bulletin - Issue 25


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General details
Date: 01 September 2013 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1601 EST  
Location   (show map):56 km north of Sydney Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Flight crew incapacitation 
Release date: 20 January 2014 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 210 
Aircraft registration: VH-JMG 
Serial number: 21061147 
Type of operation: Private 
Sector: Turboprop 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Port Macquarie, NSW
Destination:Bankstown, NSW
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Last update 06 June 2014