Aviation safety investigations & reports

Pilot incapacitation during flight, Piper PA-28, VH-TBB, near Moree, New South Wales, on 23 September 2020

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB is investigating a reported pilot incapacitation involving a Piper PA-28, VH-TBB, near Moree Airport, New South Wales (NSW) on 23 September 2020.

The pilot departed Moree for a private ferry flight to Tamworth NSW. Shortly after take-off, the pilot started to experience dizziness, breathlessness and a warm feeling in the chest. The pilot conducted a visual scan and observed a discolouration on the carbon monoxide (CO) card detector that was gradually getting darker. The pilot opened all fresh air vents and the storm window and returned the aircraft to Moree. A medical examination conducted after the flight determined the pilot had slightly elevated levels of CO.

As part of the investigation, investigators will be interviewing the pilot and reviewing aircraft maintenance information.

Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken.

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

General details
Date: 23 September 2020   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 14:18 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 19 km SE of Moree Airport   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Flight crew incapacitation  
  Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2021    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-28R-201  
Aircraft registration VH-TBB  
Serial number 28R-7737153  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Moree, New South Wales  
Destination Tamworth, New South Wales  
Last update 09 October 2020