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VariEze Flips Following Forced Landing
From CP73, Page 9, (October, 1992)
On May 20, while doing touch-and-go's at Clark Co. airport in southern Indiana, my VariEze (N64SJ) was extensively damaged. I had elected to go around because of a slower aircraft ahead (C-150). While traveling along the right side of the active about half throttle in a very shallow climb, just past the take-off end of the runway, I moved the throttle to full power. The engine (0200) started to respond then tailed off to nothing. I turned back toward the airport but came up about 50 yards short of the intersecting runway. It had rained quite heavily for several days previously and the sod was very soft.
The aircraft rolled several yards before the nose gear failed causing the plane to flip forward landing inverted and traveling another few yards before finally coming to rest, tail first, upside down.
Damage included -- Right wing broken just o/b of the wing attach fitting, left wing broken at mid span, Canard separated from aircraft taking a small part of F-22 bulkhead, the elevator control pushrod did considerable damage to the right side of forward fuselage before it finally broke, the canard has a small tension tear in the top skin at mid span, the main gear has some torsional damage, both winglets were broken near mid span, the taper pin holes in the top sides of both inboard sections of the wing attach fitting were slightly elongated from tension, other damage to canopy and cowling that I won't go into here.
After removing the cowling, the cause of the engine stoppage was obvious. The aeroduct between the carb heat valve and the catb had collapsed. A further check confirmed that both ends of the coiled wire were held tightly under the worm clamps. The wire coil had become completely disorganized and, in fact, parts of it looked somewhat like a Slinky that had been mistreated.
On a subsequent engine run, the engine repeated the in-flight shutdown. After removing the aeroduct, the engine ran normally.
I feel the shoulder harness and seatbelt and rollover structure worked very well as I was uninjured.
I can't say how much I enjoyed and miss my EZ. I would appreciate any advice you might have about possibly rebuilding.
Please pass on my experience with the aeroduct,
Best regards, James Bierly"