FTW98LA261
FTW98LA261

On June 9, 1998, at 1900 central daylight time, a Gisclair Murphy Renegade SP amateur-built experimental airplane, N96VG, impacted the ground following a loss of engine power on the initial takeoff climb from the South Lafourche Airport near Galliano, Louisiana. The airplane, which was registered to and operated by the pilot, was destroyed by the impact and a post-crash fire. The private pilot, the sole occupant and builder of the airplane, sustained minor injuries. No flight plan was filed and visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 local personal flight.

According to the pilot, the Rotax 912UL engine began to "run rough at about 500 feet altitude." The engine rpm dropped from a normal cruise rpm of 5,200 rpm to 4,000 rpm and then to 3,000 rpm. The airplane, which was passing "over a cow pasture with bails of hay every 50 to 75 feet," began to lose altitude. The pilot "tried to maintain altitude in order to find a place to land." The airplane "stalled and the left wing dropped and nosed into the ground." The pilot exited the airplane, and a post-crash fire erupted and consumed the airplane.

The pilot and the FAA inspector who examined the wreckage reported that the reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined due to the extensive fire damage to the engine and airframe.

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