Aviation safety investigations & reports

Depressurisation and crew incapacitation involving B737, VH-XMO, near Narrandera NSW, on 15 August 2018

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB is investigating an depressurisation and crew incapacitation involving a B737, VH-XMO, near Narrandera NSW, 15 August 2018.

During cruise, the crew of the cargo flight received a wing body overheat warning resulting in a reduction of cabin pressure. The crew donned oxygen and descended to 20,000 ft. The First Officer was subsequently incapacitated and the Captain descended to 8,000 ft and diverted the aircraft to Canberra.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will collect and examine information from the aircraft’s flight data recorders and interview maintenance and flight crew.

A final report will be released at the end of the investigation.

Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue.

General details
Date: 15 August 2018   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 2327 AEST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Narrandera, north 19km   Investigation phase: Final report: Drafting  
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Air/pressurisation  
  Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 4th Quarter 2020    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 737-376  
Aircraft registration VH-XMO  
Serial number 23488  
Operator Express Freighters Australia  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Brisbane, Qld  
Destination Melbourne, Vic.  
Last update 03 June 2020