Published date: 28 November 2023

The Civil Aviation Authority is urging pilots to self-assess and consult with their medical assessors regarding any conditions that could jeopardise flight safety, following a fatal accident on 25 October 2021, when a Baby Great Lakes Class 1 Microlight crashed on farmland near Omarama.

The investigation report, released today, revealed that the aircraft entered an unintentional spin which resulted in the plane colliding with terrain. The report revealed that the main factor preventing the pilot from recovering from the spin was low altitude. 

However, there were also several human factors, including a degenerative eyesight condition, which likely contributed to the spin entry, and may have hindered the pilot’s ability to recover from it. 

 “This accident is a poignant reminder for all pilots to have an honest conversation with themselves about any deterioration in their health conditions,” says Deputy Chief Executive Aviation Safety David Harrison. “Safety standards, including medical standards, are in place to prevent such tragedies.”

The CAA has produced several medical information sheets that contain general advice about the CAA’s regulatory handling of medical conditions, and of the risks associated with flying with a deteriorating condition. 

Fatal aviation accidents often share common factors. To address this the CAA has also produced a special edition of Vector [PDF 9.6 MB] sharing stories and advice from our safety investigators and experts to educate pilots and help them avoid accidents.

Media contact phone 027 763 0000 or email

Further information

Full report: CAA occurrence ZK-ULM [PDF 964 KB]

Vector magazine: The special issue 2023 [PDF 9.6 MB]

CAA medical information sheets