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On February 11, 2008, about 1611 coordinated universal time, a Cessna 310N, N5030Q, was presumed to have sustained substantial damage when the pilot reported ditching in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 50 miles to the west of Keflavik, Iceland. The commercial pilot was presumed to be fatally injured. The 14 CFR Part 91 ferry flight departed Narsarsuaq Airport (BGBW), near Narsarsuaq, Greenland, and was destined for Reykjavik Airport (BIRK), near Reykjavik, Iceland.
The purpose of the flight was to ferry the airplane from a seller in the United States to a purchaser in Bulgaria. During the ferry operation the pilot detected an unsatisfactory magneto check during a preflight inspection. An aviation maintenance engineer (AME) replaced the airplane's left magneto on its left engine at the Sept Iles Airport (CYZV), near Sept Iles, Quebec, on February 9, 2008. The airplane's engines were run on the ground by the AME prior to the airplane's departure. Receipts showed that the airplane was serviced at CYZV with 298 liters (about 78.7 gallons) of aviation gasoline before its departure to the Goose Bay Airport (CYYR), near Goose Bay, Newfoundland.
The airplane was serviced at CYYR on February 10, 2008. Receipts showed that the airplane was "topped off" at CYYR with 183 liters (about 48.3 gallons) of aviation gasoline. The pilot's flight plan from CYYR to BGBW indicated that he had 5 hours of fuel onboard.
The lineman performing the refueling in Greenland reported that he had started fueling the left main tank and was stopped by the pilot when he had filled the tank with 69 liters of fuel. The lineman was told to fill both tip tanks and fill the right main tank to bring the airplane's total fueling service to 240 liters (about 63.4 gallons). The pilot's flight plan from BGBW to BIRK indicated that he had 4 hours and 30 minutes of fuel onboard. A direct route of flight between BGBW and BIRK had a true course of 64 degrees and was about 668 nautical miles long.
On February 11, 2008, about 1540, the pilot reported an engine power loss during the accident flight to Icelandic air traffic control (ATC).
A depiction of Icelandic radar data showed that the airplane's track was in a descent. About 1610, the radar recorded the airplane's last radar contact, which was about 52.8 miles west of the Icelandic radar site at an altitude of 1,700 feet.
According to an Icelandic Coast Guard log, a rescue helicopter was airborne at 1617 and was at the airplane's last known position at 1702. Another helicopter arrived at the location at 1750. An Icelandic Coast Guard Fokker F27 responded to the area at 1815. An Icelandic report indicated that two aircraft and two helicopters were searching for the airplane as well as two smaller aircraft en route through the area. The airplane or pilot were not located.
A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records revealed the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single and multi-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot held a FAA private pilot certificate with airplane single engine land and instrument airplane ratings based on his United Kingdom pilot license.
The pilot held a FAA second-class medical certificate issued on March 13, 2007. It had a limitation that the pilot must wear corrective lenses. On his application for that medical certificate, he reported a total time of 2,300 hours, with 870 hours flown in the six months prior to that application.
N5030Q, a 1968 Cessna 310N, was a six-seat, twin engine, low wing, retractable tricycle landing gear airplane with serial number 310N-0130. A review of copied airplane logbook excerpts revealed a total airframe time of 5,964.8 hours at the last annual inspection. That last annual inspection was completed on January 16, 2008. An export certificate of airworthiness, dated February 2, 2008, showed that the airplane had a Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) IO-470-VO engine, serial number 149459-72V, installed on its left side. Total time on the left engine at the last annual inspection was 5,874.4 hours, with 47.8 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had a TCM IO-470-VO engine, serial number 901044, installed on its right side. Total time on the right engine at the last annual inspection was 4,152.4 hours, with 47.8 hours since major overhaul.
The pilot received a weather briefing before departing from BGBW to BIRK. The pilot received weather information including the current weather, terminal aerodrome forecasts, winds aloft at 10,000 and 14,000 feet above mean sea level, and a low level significant weather chart.
According to information from the Icelandic Accredited Representative, about 1540 the pilot reported to Icelandic ATC that he had a problem. The pilot explained that the airplane was operating on one engine due to fuel starvation and requested to change his flight plan and land at Keflavík International Airport (BIKF). ATC requested the pilot to repeat the message. The pilot repeated that the airplane was running on one engine due to fuel starvation. ATC responded by clearing the airplane direct to BIKF. ATC asked the pilot to confirm that the airplane was running on one engine which the pilot confirmed. ATC called BIKF Approach and informed approach controllers of the situation.
About 1543, ATC called the pilot to inquire if assistance was required after landing at BIKF. The pilot replied that he was not sure if he was going to make it all the way into BIKF. The communication was not clear so ATC requested the pilot to repeat the message. ATC did not get a response from the pilot and repeated the request without any further response. ATC noticed that the airplane was losing altitude.
About 1545, the pilot reported that he would most likely not reach BIKF and was descending.
About 1547, ATC noticed that the airplane was climbing a little again.
About 1549, the pilot reported a problem. He indicated that it was not possible to transfer fuel from left to right most likely due to icing. The pilot also stated that making BIKF would be tight, if he could make it at all, on the remaining fuel.
About 1554, the pilot asked ATC about the weather. Another ATC controller relieved the original controller and informed the pilot of the weather condition at BIKF. ATC asked the pilot to confirm his intentions were to fly direct to BIKF and land using runway 29. The pilot indicated that he would like to take the shortest way to BIKF and stated that it would be unlikely that he would make BIKF on the remaining usable fuel. ATC queried the pilot and the pilot repeated that he could not transfer fuel from one side to another, most likely due to icing. ATC told the pilot to continue to BIKF and cleared the airplane to descend at pilot's discretion. The pilot responded that he would wait on descending as long as possible.
About 1604, the pilot reported that he would most likely not reach BIKF. ATC informed the pilot that a helicopter was requested but was not sure if it was airborne yet. ATC queried the pilot and he reported that he now had lost power on both engines and was going down.
About 1607, ATC called another aircraft in the area and requested assistance in relaying communications.
About 1608, ATC received information of a ship in the area and tried to advise the airplane of the ship's location. ATC did not receive any response to the transmission of the ship's location.
About 1609, a transmission of "Go Reykjavik 3Q" was received from the airplane. That was the last transmission from the airplane.
The Aircraft Accident Investigation Board - Iceland provided an accredited representative to the investigation.