NTSB Identification: CEN11CA047
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 29, 2010 in Oshtemo, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/12/2011
Aircraft: AARDEMA ROBERT JOHN 1 AARDEMA RAG WNG SP, registration: N768BA
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 pilot reported that, just after takeoff and during the initial climb, the airplane's engine suddenly lost power when the airplane was about 400 feet above the ground. The pilot attempted to return to the departure runway but realized that he did not have sufficient altitude. The airplane impacted trees and the ground in a wooded area near the runway. All of the biplane's wing surfaces were fragmented during the accident sequence and the fuselage came to rest nose down. The airplane was powered by a converted automobile engine. A postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the ignition high voltage coil wire had separated from the coil. When the wire was reinserted into the coil, the engine started normally. The coil wire was held in place by a friction fit; no other means of retention was provided.

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

The failure of the ignition system wiring, which resulted in a total loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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