This is an excerpt from a report made to the Aviation Safety Reporting System. The narrative is written by the pilot, rather than FAA or NTSB officials. To maintain anonymity, many details, such as aircraft model or airport, are often scrubbed from the reports.
Upon takeoff, I was climbing out and my engine failed at 545 feet msl. I immediately initiated a left hand turn back to the runway. Wind was 230@18G23, so takeoff was easy, but returning to land downwind was challenging my RV-12.
I announced on CTAF “engine failure and returning to land dead-stick runway X.”
I performed a 180° turn, which was successful from about 465 feet agl, but with an airspeed of 65 knots (best glide) and a gusting tailwind, my groundspeed back to land was excessive and contributed to my lack of control on landing.
Having no ability to go around and concerned I would run off the end of the runway, I landed, braked hard, and then received a gust of wind that lifted my right wing and I departed the runway on the left side, striking a taxiway sign and coming to rest just beyond the sign.
It would have been nice to stop about 20 feet sooner, which would have avoided the sign, however the nose wheel was torn from the aircraft.
No injuries occurred.
Primary Problem as determined by an ASRS analyst: Aircraft.