On November 26, 2008, about 1500 eastern standard time, an experimental, amateur-built Corben Ace D, N13LL, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, after takeoff from a private airstrip in Cherryville, North Carolina. The certificated private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight destined for Lincoln County Regional Airport, Lincolnton, North Carolina. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, shortly after takeoff, when the airplane was about 500 feet above the ground, the throttle control could not be advanced. He attempted to retard and advance the throttle; however, the throttle remained in the idle position. The pilot attempted to land in a field; however, the airplane impacted trees, and came to rest on the ground, in a vertical attitude. The nose of the airplane and both wings were crushed aft.

Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. Examination of the throttle control revealed that it moved freely throughout its range of motion both before and after the carburetor was heated to operating temperatures using a heat-gun.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1973, and equipped with a Teledyne Continental Motors AC-65 series engine; however, according to the FAA inspector, the engine did not contain a data plate.

At the time of the accident, the airplane had been operated for about 445 hours since it was built, and 4 hours since its most recent condition inspection, which was performed on September 18, 2008.

The pilot reported 611 hours of total flight experience, which included about 4 hours in the accident airplane.

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