Metallic Shiny Debris Was Observed Trailing From The Airplane

Location: Hood River, OR Accident Number: WPR21LA250
Date & Time: June 28, 2021, 10:30 Local Registration: N10TA
Aircraft: L-Bird LLC CCX-2000 Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Flight test

On June 28, 2021, about 1030 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built, CCX-2000 airplane, N10TA, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Hood River, Oregon. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot, who was also the Director of Maintenance (DOM) for the company contracted to perform maintenance, reported that the airplane was retrofitted with an experimental exhaust system consisting of a titanium exhaust header and an aluminum muffler. The pilot stated that following the installation of the exhaust, an uneventful full engine power ground run was conducted. After the ground run, the pilot initiated the airplanes first flight after the exhaust system was installed. Shortly after takeoff, the engine lost all power, and the pilot initiated a forced landing to a field. During the landing roll, the airplane struck trees before it came to rest upright in the field.

Review of a video recording of the takeoff revealed that about 24 seconds after takeoff, metallic shiny debris was observed trailing from the airplane. It appeared the debris originated from the area of the exhaust.

Examination of the airplane by the pilot revealed that the carry-through spar and the fuselage were substantially damaged. Initial examination of the exhaust system revealed that internal components of the exhaust were compromised and restricted the muffler assembly exhaust port. Metallic debris consistent with internal exhaust components was recovered from the runway and adjacent area.

The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.