On June 9, 2008, about 1335 Alaska daylight time, an amphibious Lake L-4 airplane, N13RZ, sustained substantial damage following a loss of engine power after takeoff from the Girdwood Airport, Girdwood, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot. The private certificated pilot, and the sole passenger, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight was en route to Valdez, Alaska, and a VFR flight plan was filed.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on June 9, the pilot reported that he was departing to the south, and as the airplane reached about 300 feet agl, the engine began to lose power. The airplane was unable to climb, and the pilot selected an emergency landing spot in Glacier Creek, about 3/4 mile south of the Girdwood Airport. The airplane received structural damage to the left wing, the hull, and fuselage.

On June 11, two Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness inspectors examined the airplane after it was recovered to the airport. The inspectors observed while the pilot, who holds an FAA mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings, started the engine. It ran at idle, but when full power was applied, the engine rpm decreased from 2,600 to 2,200 after about 12 seconds. The engine fuel pressure remained within normal limits, and the magneto check was normal. No other mechanical malfunction was observed.

The propeller governor was sent to the manufacturer for examination, which was accomplished on August 26, 2008. No malfunction of the governor was observed. The engine driven fuel pump was sent to the manufacturer for examination, which was accomplished on December 10, 2008. No malfunction of the fuel pump was observed.

The governor and fuel pump were released to the owner on December 16, 2008.

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