FTW02LA093
FTW02LA093

On March 12, 2002, at 1800 central standard time, a Tillman Long EZ homebuilt experimental airplane, N126DT, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during initial takeoff climb near Lockhart, Texas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight departed the Lockhart Municipal Airport, Lockhart, at 1757.

The pilot reported that he had not flown the airplane in approximately three weeks and planned to fly the airplane around the traffic pattern. The pilot performed a preflight inspection, taxied the airplane to runway 36, and then performed a "normal" engine run-up prior to takeoff. Shortly after takeoff, approximately 200 feet agl, the engine began to lose power. The pilot "switched tanks, checked the mixture, and jockeyed the throttle a couple of times," with no response from the engine. Unable to make the runway, the pilot initiated a forced landing to a field. During the landing, the airplane struck a fence separating the right wing and right main landing gear. The pilot stated that the airplane contained approximately 20 gallons of fuel prior to takeoff.

According to an FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, he and the pilot performed a field inspection on the engine. Both the magnetos produced spark at the spark plugs, valve train continuity was established, and the engine cylinders produced compression. The carburetor contained fuel, which was clean and free of contaminants. No anomalies with the engine or airframe were noted during the examination. The reason for the loss of engine power was not determined.

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