The aircraft was on a test flight to renew its Permit To Fly following a protracted period of maintenance and had not flown for approximately five years. The pilot was approved by the LAA to undertake test flights. He reported that the aircraft engine started easily and warmed up satisfactorily, engine power checks were satisfactory, including functional checks of the magnetos, and the carburettor heat control operated correctly.
The pilot reported that the acceleration for takeoff, the lift-off and initial climb were all satisfactory. At a height of approximately 150 ft, the engine lost power, ran erratically for a few seconds and then stopped. The pilot initially turned right but, after considering the nature of the terrain ahead, reversed the turn to the left to attempt a forced landing. The area beyond the airfield boundary is constrained by a reservoir. The pilot, therefore, had few options and attempted a landing into a field of standing maize, hitting the crop in a left banked attitude. The aircraft then struck the ground with the pilot suffering serious injuries and, subsequently, being taken to hospital by Air Ambulance. The aircraft was destroyed.
A video of the accident shows the engine power loss but the cause was not established by the AAIB.
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