Aviation safety investigations & reports

Pilot incapacitation involving Piper PA-31, VH-TWU, near King Island, Tasmania, on 8 November 2018

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB is investigating a pilot incapacitation involving a Piper PA-31, VH-TWU, operated by Vortex Air, near King Island Airport, Tasmania on 8 November 2018.

The aircraft was conducting a freight flight from Devonport Airport to King Island Airport.

During the cruise, the pilot, who was the only person on board, fell asleep resulting in the aircraft overflying King Island by 46 km.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview the pilot and review operational procedures.

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

General details
Date: 08 November 2018   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 07:15 AESuT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near King Island   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: Tasmania   Occurrence type: Flight crew incapacitation  
  Occurrence class: Operational  
Report status: Pending   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Expected completion: 1st Quarter 2019   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-31-350  
Aircraft registration VH-TWU  
Serial number 31-7552110  
Operator Vortex Air  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Devonport, Tas.  
Destination King Island, Tas.  
Last update 03 December 2018