On September 17, 2007, about 1045 eastern daylight time, an amateur built SE5A REPLICA airplane, N7072E, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, following a total loss of engine power during takeoff from W.N.C. Air Museum Airport (8NC9), Hendersonville, North Carolina. The certificated commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot reported that the airplane departed on runway 14, a 2,400-foot-long, 100-foot-wide, turf runway. About 200 feet above ground level (agl), the engine began to lose partial power, and then experienced a total loss of power. The pilot attempted to return to the airport, but the airplane impacted a wetlands area, and came to rest inverted. During the impact, the wings and fuselage sustained extensive damage.

The pilot further stated that the airplane was equipped with a Teledyne Continental Motors O-200 engine. He added that the engine was "old," and last overhauled in 1979. The engine had accumulated 332 total hours since that last overhaul. The airplane's most recent condition inspection was completed 3 days prior to the accident, and it had not flown since that inspection.

Approximately 6 months after the accident, the pilot reported that he had not yet began a teardown of the engine, and did not know what caused the power loss. The pilot added that he performed a cursory examination of the engine, and did not find anything obvious that would explain the loss of engine power.

The reported weather at an airport located approximately 10 miles northwest of the accident site, at 1054, was: wind variable at 4 knots; sky clear; temperature 16 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 9 degrees C; altimeter 30.38 inches of mercury.

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