On Monday, September 6, 1993, at about 1900 eastern daylight time, a homebuilt Super Cat, N531SC, owned, operated, and piloted by Kerry John Sterner of Bath, Pennsylvania, lost partial engine power during take-off climb from a private air field in Cherryville, Pennsylvania. The pilot executed an off-field landing and during the descent, the airplane impacted trees. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot stated on his accident report form, "As I crossed over the end of the 1800 ft. runway, at an altitude of about 150' AGL, I heard the RPM drop, but all temps were normal. The engine RPMs continued to drop...." The pilot stated that the airplane did not have enough airspeed and altitude to make it back to the air field so he executed an off-field landing. He stated that there was no suitable terrain to land. The pilot stated, "...I headed for the area which had the smallest trees and executed a normal approach and landing...."

The post-accident examination of the airframe and engine was accomplished by a Federal Aviation Administration safety inspector. The examination of the airframe did not reveal any anomalies. The engine was inspected and an externally mounted in-line fuel filter, manufactured by Purolator, part number PRO-804, was found to be restricting fuel flow. Further examination of the fuel filter revealed that the fuel filter's element retention thumbscrew had loosened and rotated down covering about 80 percent of the fuel inlet openings.

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