An extensive search for an American pilot was launched yesterday afternoon after reports were received that his small Cessna 310 airplane crashed into the ocean 50 nautical miles west of Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland’s southwestern coast.
The pilot, who was the only one onboard, was traveling from Narsarsuaq, Greenland, to Reykjavík when his engines went dead, the first at 3 pm. He managed to send an emergency message about having trouble transferring fuel between tanks, Morgunbladid reports.
Shortly afterwards the pilot reported that he had also lost power in the other engine and that his airplane was hovering at an altitude of 7,000 feet. The Icelandic Coast Guard sent one of its helicopters TF-LIF towards the airplane. A Danish military aircraft had already begun searching for the Cessna.
Three fishing vessels located near the scene of the accident and Coast Guard cruisers were also called to the scene of the accident as well as the Coast Guard airplane TF-SIF, and other airplanes.
Head Icelandic Coast Guard pilot Sigurdur Heidar Wiium, who flew the TF-LIF helicopter, said the conditions had been very difficult yesterday. “The waves were high and it was stormy, making it difficult to search in the ocean.”
In the evening it began snowing and the visibility in the search area was poor. Captain Thorsteinn Eyjólfsson of trawler Baldvin Njálsson GK-400, which was fishing only 10 nautical miles away from the scene of the accident, said conditions for searching were extremely difficult.
The air search was called off late last night.