The aircraft took off from Runway 28 at Sutton Meadows Airfield and was climbing under full power to about 200 ft agl when the engine failed abruptly. The pilot intended to land straight ahead in a farmer’s field but soon realised that he would probably have insufficient energy to clear a dyke which lay between the end of the runway and the chosen landing field.
He then attempted to lose height in order to land on the end of the runway before the dyke but he was unable to prevent the aircraft from rolling off the end of the runway and into the dyke. It came to rest with its wings suspended between the dyke banks and the pod partly submerged in the water.
The pilot reports that the cause of the engine failure has not been ascertained. He has stated an intention to practise engine failures during takeoff rather than just from level flight, and also to consider first the option of losing height to land back on the departure runway rather than gliding to a field beyond it. He believes that, had he done this immediately, he may have been able to stop before the dyke.