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.
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Published 12 January 2017