Ice in the carburettor has been identified by a microlight pilot as the likely cause of engine failure which ended with his tiny aircraft crash landing and being wrecked at Cromarty Firth last October.
The 2006 built Quik microlight – reg G CDUH – owned by Neil Ferrier Taylor of a North Street, New Elgin, was damaged beyond repair in the crash on the afternoon of 10 October but fortunately the pilot and his passenger walked away from the wreckage unhurt.
The incident is spotlighted in a newly published Air Accident Investigation Branch report. The report says the microlight had taken off from Easterton Airfield, near Elgin, Morayshire and was en route to Invergordon via Nairn.
It says that the 53-year-old pilot who had 125 hours flying experience flew at an altitude of 5,500 ft across the Moray Firth, but found the temperature cold.
It continues: “He therefore descended to 2,000 ft to cross the Cromarty Firth and 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.”
As far as the cause of loss of power is concerned the report says: “The pilot conjectured that the loss of power may have been caused by carburettor icing during the two previous descents.”