Date & Time: Aug 9, 2015 at 1445 LT
Akureyri – Keflavik
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
At 14:01 on August 9th, 2015, a pilot along with a friend, a contracted ferry flight pilot, planned to fly airplane N610LC, which is of the type De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) from Akureyri Airport to Keflavik Airport in Iceland. The purpose of the flight was to ferry the airplane from Akureyri to Minneapolis/St. Paul in the United States, where the airplane was to be sold. The airplane was initially flown in Eyjafjörður in a northernly direction from Akureyri, over Þelamörk and then towards and into the valley of Öxnadalur. The cloud ceiling was low and it was not possible to fly VFR flight over the heath/ridge of Öxnadalsheiði. The airplane was turned around in the head of the valley of Öxnadalur and flown towards the ridge of Staðartunguháls, where it was then flown towards the heath/ridge of Hörgárdalsheiði at the head of the valley of Hörgárdalur. In the valley of Hörgárdalur it became apparent that the cloud base was blocking off the heath/ridge of Hörgárdalsheiði, so the airplane was turned around again. The pilots then decided to fly around the peninsula of Tröllaskagi per their original backup plan, but when they reached the ridge of Staðartunguháls again the pilots noticed what looked like a break in the cloud cover over the head of the valley of Barkárdalur. A spontaneous decision was made by the pilots to fly into the valley of Barkárdalur. The valley of Barkárdalur is a long narrow valley with 3000 – 4500 feet high mountain ranges extending on either side. At the head of the valley of Barkárdalur there is a mountain passage at an elevation of approximately 3900 ft. About 45 minutes after takeoff the airplane crashed in the head of the valley of Barkárdalur at an elevation of 2260 feet. The pilot was severely injured and the ferry flight pilot was fatally injured in a post crash fire.
The investigation revealed that the airplane was over the maximum weight limit and its performance considerably degraded as of result of the overweight condition. The ITSB also believes carburetor icing contributed to the accident. Furthermore, the investigation revealed that VMC did not exist on the intended flight route across the peninsula of Tröllaskagi. Finally, multiple human factors issues were identified.