On August 21, 2002, at 1359 Pacific daylight time, an experimental Dodd RV-4 airplane, N62VR, nosed over during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during the initial climb out from the Tehachapi Municipal Airport (TSP), Tehachapi, California. The airplane, operated by the owner/builder under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, sustained substantial damage. The pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area test flight, which departed about 10 minutes earlier. A flight plan had not been filed.

In a written statement, the pilot stated that approximately 10 minutes after takeoff the "engine quit." He executed an emergency landing into an uncultivated field about 1/4 mile southeast of the airport. The landing forced debris into the wheel pants, which locked up the wheels. The airplane nosed over, coming to rest upside down.

The pilot manufactured the airplane, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate on August 17, 2002. It was undergoing its first test flight for Phase 1 flight testing required by FAR Part 91.319.

The FAA inspector who responded to the accident interviewed the pilot. The pilot stated that prior to takeoff he did a number of full power ground runs followed by two high-speed taxi tests. After takeoff the engine began to surge and run rough. The pilot richened the mixture; however, the engine lost power.

The FAA inspector examined the airplane on August 22, 2002. The airplane had been moved to a hangar. Post accident examination of the engine revealed a fuel leak from a "B" nut of an aluminum hard line that supplied metered fuel to the throttle body. The inspector removed this line, and found a crack at the point of the flare. The builder had manufactured and installed this line.

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