The pilot reported he had not flown the Glaster in “some time.” He added that, on the day of the accident, he performed a full power run-up and that the airplane “felt normal.”
The takeoff and climbout were normal, however while the plane was at 1,200 feet above ground level, the engine began to lose power.
During the attempted forced landing near Sheridan, Wyoming, the main landing gear hit an irrigation pipe, the left wing tip hit a fence post, and the airplane then slid about 60 feet before coming to rest upright.
The pilot reported that, after exiting the airplane, he observed a broken wire on the cowl flap cable, which he believed would have allowed the cowl flap to completely close and then resulted in the engine overheating.
However, during a post-accident engine examination, it could not be determined if the wire on the cowl flap broke before or during the accident.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as a loss of engine power while maneuvering at low altitude for reasons that could not be determined.
NTSB Identification: WPR15LA058
This December 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.