The aircraft had taken off from Easterton Airfield, near Elgin, Morayshire and was en route to Invergordon via Nairn. The pilot flew at an altitude of 5,500 ft across the Moray Firth, but found the temperature cold. He therefore descended to 2,000 ft to cross the Cromarty Firth and then again to approximately 20 ft to fly along the shore.
When the pilot attempted to apply power to climb, the engine did not respond and the aircraft descended towards the water. He decided to ditch the aircraft because the shore, although close by, was rocky. The aircraft flipped inverted as it entered the water. The pilot unfastened his seatbelt and escaped from the pod, followed by his passenger. The pilot conjectured that the loss of power may have been caused by carburettor icing during the two previous descents.