The pilot reported that he performed several high-speed taxis on his private airstrip near Pennsboro, W.Va.
After about 15 minutes, he initiated a takeoff on the 1,780-foot-long turf runway.
About 100 feet above ground level, the CubCrafters CC18-180’s engine either lost all power or went to idle (the pilot could not be sure). He did state that the engine was not running rough before the power loss.
He banked the plane left in an attempt to land on an adjacent property, but it stalled and hit a ravine.
The pilot added that during the attempted forced landing, the rpm momentarily increased and then decreased again.
Examination of the wreckage revealed that adequate fuel was on board and there was no evidence of fuel contamination. Continuity was confirmed throughout the fuel system and there were no obstructions in the intake or exhaust system.
The carburetor was actuated by hand and no anomalies were observed.
The propeller was rotated 360° by hand and no mechanical malfunctions were observed.
Review of a carburetor icing chart revealed that, for the given temperature and dew point, serious icing was possible at glide power, however the engine was at full power during the takeoff and initial climb before the loss of engine power.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as a loss of engine power during initial climb for reasons that could not be determined.
NTSB Identification: ERA14LA294
This June 2014 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.