At approximately 200 ft agl, after takeoff on an instructional sortie, the engine power setting was reduced from 3,000 rpm to 2,800 rpm and the electric fuel pump was selected OFF. This was routine. Shortly thereafter, at approximately 300 ft agl, the engine suffered a significant power loss. The Instructor took control and reselected the electric fuel pump to ON. However, the scale of the power loss meant that level flight was impossible and a forced landing was necessary. The instructor chose what he felt was a suitable field and manoeuvred toward it. On final approach the Instructor noticed low power lines running across his path. He was concerned that the aircraft would strike the power lines and aware of the inherent risks in reducing airspeed in an attempt to increase glide distance. Therefore, he made a left turn for a landing in rougher ground which was closer than his initial choice of field. On touchdown, the nose landing gear failed, the nose dug into the ground and the aircraft turned over. Both occupants were restrained by their harnesses and were able to exit via their doors. They both suffered minor injuries.
An examination of the engine indicated that the mechanical drive to the camshaft had failed.
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Published 8 November 2018