On December 4, 2001, at 1100 eastern standard time, a Philip Whitty Mustang II experimental airplane, N888PW, registered to a private owner, lost engine power and nosed over during a forced landing in Hampstead, North Carolina. The airplane was registered to and operated by the private pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The pilot received minor injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight originated from a private airstrip in Topsail, North Carolina, about 1000.

The pilot departed the airport to perform maneuvers, including climbing and descending turns, slow flight, and approach to stall turns for about 50 minutes. While returning to the airport in cruise flight at 2,000 feet, the engine lost power. The pilot noticed the fuel gauge read 15 psi. The pilot turned on the electric fuel boost pump, and the fuel system pressure increased to 20 psi. Attempts to restart the engine were not successful. The pilot established a glide toward a field that was clear of trees and executed a forced landing. During landing roll in the soft field, the airplane traveled less than 50 feet, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. The airplane had departed with approximately 30 gallons of fuel.

Examination of the airplane revealed damage to the vertical stabilizer, propeller, cowling, canopy, and wing tips. Examination of the engine found no pre-existing discrepancies that would have contributed to the loss of engine power. The pilot reported previous problems starting the engine when it was hot. The post-accident examination of the engine also failed to disclose a mechanical problem.

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