ATL06LA121
ATL06LA121

On August 17, 2006, at 1015 eastern daylight time, a experimental Rans S-6, N227AL, registered to and operated by a private individual as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, lost engine power during cruise flight and made a forced landing in a field near Roseboro, North Carolina. The airplane received substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The commercial-rated pilot received minor injuries. The flight originated from a private strip in Roseboro on August 17, 2006, at 1000.

The pilot stated that he was flying his airplane over to the next county to receive an annual conditional inspection. Approximately 10 minutes into the flight, while cruising at 900 feet, the engine "backfired and quit". The pilot's attempts to restart the engine were unsuccessful, and he chose to make a forced landing in a field. During the approach to land, he realized that he could not make it to field, and he made a sharp right turn to attempt to land at another field. The right wing impacted the ground and the airplane spun around horizontally.

The airplane was equipped with a Subaru E-81, 80hp automotive engine. The owner of the airplane and a local mechanic examined the engine; and observed that the distributor was free to move. There were marks on the distributor base 1/8 to 3/16 inches long. The pilot stated that this was enough movement to cause the engine to "backfire and subsequent engine failure."

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