Aviation safety investigations & reports

Partial pilot incapacitation involving Piper PA-28, VH-PZG, near Bankstown, New South Wales, on 8 March 2021

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a reported partial pilot incapacitation involving a Piper PA-28, VH-PZG, near Bankstown Airport, New South Wales on 8 March 2021. 

The aircraft departed Bankstown for a dual training flight in the Bankstown training area. About half an hour into the flight the instructor started to feel lightheaded and less focused than normal. The instructor examined the carbon monoxide card detector and observed a discolouration (positive indication). The crew then opened all fresh air vents and returned the aircraft to Bankstown.

As part of the investigation, investigators will interview the crew and review aircraft maintenance information.

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

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. 

General details
Date: 08 March 2021   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 8:30 ESuT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Bankstown Aerodrome (Training Area)   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Flight crew incapacitation  
  Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 3rd Quarter 2021    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-28-161  
Aircraft registration VH-PZG  
Serial number 28-7916193  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Bankstown, NSW  
Destination Bankstown, NSW  
Last update 16 March 2021