Clutch failure brings down homebuilt

This October 2010 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: BD-5. Injuries: 1 Serious. Location: Burlington, Wash. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff the engine lost power. He made a turn in an attempt to make an emergency landing to another runway, but came up short and the airplane touched down hard.

Post-accident examination revealed that the sprag clutch failed, preventing the engine from turning the propeller and causing a loss of thrust.

Probable cause: The failure of the sprag clutch during takeoff, resulting in a loss of engine thrust.

For more information: NTSB Identification: WPR11LA015

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