On June 12, 2011, about 1315 central daylight time, a Lancair 360, kit-built airplane, N6ZY, experienced a loss of engine power while in cruise flight near Azle, Texas. The private pilot, sole occupant, received serious injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged during the accident. The aircraft was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a test flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan.

The pilot reported that he had recently completed building the airplane and was conducting a local test flight. The pilot stated, about an hour after departure and while in cruise flight, the engine gave a “hiccup”. As the pilot proceeded toward his departure airfield, the engine started to lose power. The pilot turned on the wing fuel transfer pumps, but the engine continued to lose power. Unable to maintain altitude, the pilot elected to conduct a gear-up, forced landing in a field. The pilot stated that as he lined the airplane up for the landing, the engine died. He added that he was just able to clear trees and a fence at the beginning of the field, however, the airplane impacted the ground hard.

The pilot added that after exiting the airplane and that since the fuel tanks did not rupture, he returned to the airplane to disconnect the batteries.

An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site. The airplane’s left wing was nearly separated from the fuselage, the entire empennage was off broken off just forward of the vertical stabilizer and laying to the left of the to the fuselage. Additionally, the propeller separated from the engine; the crankshaft appeared broken at the crankshaft flange due to the ground impact. The inspector noted that the airplane’s left wing and header fuel tanks were empty, and the right wing fuel tank was full of fuel.

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