ATSB opens Virgin Australia F100 crew incapacitation investigation

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has opened an investigation into a cabin crew incapacitation event involving a Virgin Australia Regional Fokker F100.

The jet, VH-FNU (c/n 11373), was operating flight 1896 between Newman Airport and Perth in Western Australia on December 27, 2021, with five crew members and seven passengers.

VH-FNU
VH-FNU was first delivered to USAir on January 22, 1992 and has since seen service with five carriers. Wikimedia Commons/Bahnfrend

During the cruise at 34,000ft, a cabin crew member began to feel unwell and was treated with portable oxygen. The pilots subsequently climbed to 35,000ft.

According to investigators, a few minutes later the remaining two cabin crew also felt unwell and reported to the flight crew that they suspected possible hypoxia.

The first officer later reported that they had also felt light-headed and experienced slight nausea.

As a precaution, the pilots donned oxygen masks, manually deployed the passenger oxygen masks and conducted an emergency descent to 10,000ft.

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