NYC08LA027
NYC08LA027

On November 5, 2007, about 1635 eastern standard time, an amateur-built Vans Aircraft RV-7A, N723EP, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, following a loss of engine power while in cruise flight near West Point, Virginia. The certificated commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight that departed St. Mary's County Regional Airport (2W6), Leonardtown, Maryland, destined for the Middle Peninsula Airport (FYJ), West Point, Virginia. The personal flight was conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that the airplane had climbed to an altitude of 2,500 feet, and was in cruise flight, when the engine experienced a complete loss of power. He was unable to restart the engine, and performed a forced landing to a bean field located about 10 miles northwest of FYJ. During the landing, the airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall, fuselage, and both wing spars.

Postaccident examination of the engine by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector did not reveal any evidence of preimpact malfunctions. In addition, fuel observed in the carburetor and gascolator was absent of contamination.

The airplane was equipped with an Aero Sport O-360-A1A engine. The pilot reported that the airplane had undergone an initial airworthiness inspection about 9 days prior to the accident. The engine had been operated about 7 total hours since new.

The pilot reported 1,301 hours of total flight experience, which included about 50 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

A weather observation taken at FYJ, about the time of the accident, reported: winds from 170 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 statue miles, sky clear, temperature 18 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 4 degrees C; altimeter 29.99 inches of mercury.

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