Airplane Seemed A Little “Lethargic” During The Takeoff Roll

Location: Novato, CA Accident Number: WPR24LA023
Date & Time: October 26, 2023, 13:30 Local Registration: N28BS
Aircraft: Vans Aircraft Inc RV-12 Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On October 26, 2023, about 1330 Pacific daylight time, an Experimental Amateur-Built Vans RV-12, N28BS, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Novato, California. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, the accident flight was the first flight following completion of a condition inspection, which included rebuilding both carburetors and replacement of cylinder Nos 1 and 3 ignition leads. He stated that following an uneventful pre-takeoff engine runup, he initiated takeoff on runway 31, and the airplane seemed a little “lethargic” during the takeoff roll. As the airplane was about 100 ft above ground level, the engine began to run rough and lost partial power. The pilot initiated a 180° turn to runway 13 but was “too high and too fast.” The pilot made a left turn to land on a nearby road, the airplane landed hard, and the nose wheel landing gear collapsed. 

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the fuselage was structurally damaged. The wreckage was relocated to a secure location for further examination.