NTSB Identification: ERA15LA306
On August 10, 2015, at 1033 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Volksplane VP-1, N9288, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain during the initial climb after takeoff from Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport (BKV), Brooksville, Florida. The sport pilot, who was also the builder of the airplane, was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the local test flight which was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to information obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airplane departed from runway 9 and appeared to climb no higher than 100 feet. It made a left turn beyond the departure end of the runway and eventually descended into a wooded area about 1/2 mile north of the approach end of runway 27.
According to the pilot, he purchased the preowned fuselage and wings in late 2012, and after assembling those, purchased landing gear, some instrumentation and a Sonex Aerovee 2180 engine kit. He also noted that he had "no experience building an aircraft engine or any engine for that matter." The pilot further stated that there were initially "some issues" with the engine's performance, but that it finally achieved [desired] static rpm on the ground.
The accident flight was the pilot's first in the single-seat airplane. During the takeoff roll, the airplane "gained speed but struggled to get off the ground at which time I should have aborted the takeoff. Trying to overcome the first flight anxiety and not knowing how this aircraft should behave," the pilot continued the takeoff. After being cleared for a left turn, the pilot continued the climb, but realized that the engine, "did not develop enough power to climb sufficiently." As the airplane began to turn downwind, the engine lost more power, and the airplane descended into trees. Hitting the trees, the airplane burst into flames, and the pilot passed out. When he awoke, the pilot was in the fuselage and his legs were on fire. After unbuckling the four-point safety harness, he climbed out of the fuselage and crawled away from the fire.
Photographs of the scene showed the airplane in multiple parts and mostly consumed by the fire. The responding FAA inspector noted that the extent of the fire precluded detailed examination of the engine and systems.