- Air Accidents Investigation Branch
- 12 January 2017
- Date of occurrence:
- 6 August 2016
- Aircraft category:
- General aviation - fixed wing
- Report type:
- Bulletin - Field investigation
- Aircraft type:
- Piper PA-28-161 Cherokee Warrior II
- English Channel, 1.2 nm from Winchelsea Beach, East Sussex
Aircraft ditched after reporting engine problems, English Channel, 1.2 nm from Winchelsea Beach, East Sussex, 6 August 2016.
The aircraft was conducting a local flight over the sea when the pilot declared he had a problem with a rough running engine and high oil temperature; he flew a track towards his base airfield. Shortly after this, the pilot reported that he was unable to maintain altitude but, despite it being within glide range of land, the aircraft continued on a direct track, over the sea, towards the airfield visual reporting point (VRP). The aircraft ditched with a strong tailwind, and subsequently became inverted and sank. The pilot and aircraft were recovered from the seabed several days later. No mechanical defect was identified within the engine, but the aircraft was operating in the flight regime where severe carburettor icing could occur at any power setting. The investigation did identify a chafed wire in the engine oil temperature indication system which could explain the pilot reports of high oil temperature.
A correction was issued concerning this report prior to publication.
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Published: 12 January 2017
Date of occurrence: 6 August 2016