NTSB Identification: LAX06CA088.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 10, 2006 in Camarillo, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2006
Aircraft: Huntington KIS, registration: N506RJ
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The experimental airplane experienced a partial loss of engine power in the takeoff initial climb, and collided with obstacles and terrain during an emergency landing in an open field to the west of the airport. The pilot stated that he was taking the newly constructed airplane for its second flight. The engine that was installed in the airplane was a automotive Subaru EJ20. He took off from runway 26 and was climbing at 90 mph. Everything seemed normal and then he noticed that his airspeed was 60 mph and the engine sound had decreased. There were no pops or abnormal engine sounds associated with the decrease in airspeed and the engine rpm was down at 1,700 instead of the normal 6,000. The pilot immediately manipulated the throttle to ensure it was fully opened, he then turned the ignition switch off and on in an attempt to reset the electronic engine control. Both actions failed to regain full power of the engine. He notified the tower that he had lost engine power. He decided to land in a field that was off the end of the runway. He was flying at 60 mph and had a rate of descent of a couple of hundred feet per minute. He made an forced landing into the field and was assisted by emergency responders shortly afterwards. The pilot said that the Subaru engine has a reduced power mode intended to operate the engine at a substantially reduced power output if an engine problem was detected by the engine electronic control system computer. He thinks that the engine switched to this low power mode shortly after takeoff. The method he knew of to correct this situation was to turn the ignition off then back on and this should have cleared the fault and allowed the engine to resume normal power output. The underlying reason for the engine going to the reduced power mode was not determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

a partial loss of engine power due to the engine's electronic control system reverting to a designed reduced power mode of operation.

Full narrative available

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