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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 249149
Last updated: 15 October 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 172R
Owner/operator:Hartwig Air
Registration: VH-YXZ
MSN: 17280885
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:44 km south of Adelaide Airport, SA -   Australia
Phase: En route
Nature:Aerial patrol
Departure airport:Adelaide-Parafield Airport, SA (YPPF)
Destination airport:Adelaide-Parafield Airport, SA (YPPF)
Investigating agency: ATSB
On 22 December 2019, the crew of a Cessna 172R aircraft, registered VH-YXZ and operated by Hartwig Air, was conducting aerial shark patrols. The aircraft departed Parafield, South Australia for the second flight of the day and flew along the coast to Goolwa Murray Mouth, returning along the same route.
About 2 hours into the flight, the crew started to experience symptoms typically associated with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, and subsequently observed a localised discolouration on the disposable CO chemical spot detector. The pilot notified air traffic control, who offered the pilot to land at Adelaide Airport. The pilot initially agreed, but as their symptoms resulted in confusion about the runways at Adelaide Airport, they subsequently decided to fly to Parafield, due to their familiarity with that airport.

The aircraft was landed safely and the three crew were taken to hospital for assessment. Blood tests confirmed all crew had mildly elevated carboxyhaemoglobin levels.

Contributing factors
It was likely that the flight crew were exposed to elevated levels of carbon monoxide in the aircraft cabin, which likely contributed to them experiencing mild incapacitating symptoms and effects.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 3 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:


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