On November 1, 2002, about 1345 Alaska standard time, a wheel-equipped experimental homebuilt Arima Kolb Fire Star II airplane, N8199, sustained substantial damage when it struck trees during a forced landing after takeoff from the Birchwood Airport, Chugiak, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) local area personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at the Birchwood Airport about 1300. No flight plan was filed.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge on November 1, the pilot reported that the accident airplane had been stored outside, and had not been utilized within the last two years. He added that just prior to the accident, he had accomplished three successful touch-and-go landings on runway 19R. He said that on the fourth touch-and-go landing roll, he added power for another takeoff. As the airplane climbed to about 50 feet above the runway, he said the engine, a Rotax 503, suddenly lost significant power, and he selected a forced landing area ahead of the airplane. During the forced landing, the airplane collided with several trees. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and empennage.

On November 1, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operations inspector, Anchorage Flight Standards District Office, traveled to the Birchwood Airport to inspect the airplane. The inspector reported that both carburetor float bowls were found to contain murky, silty, and rust-colored fuel.

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