After all the work was done it was finally to time to fly it and enjoy the fruit of all that work. It started up on the second blade and made oil pressure right up to the top of the green. A quick run up to minimize ground running before it was broken in, and then shut down for a leak check and another once over before flight. Everything was just right, so we cowled it up and ordered lunch. I was going to take it for a 15 minute shakedown flight and come back for my sandwich. I did not realize I would be walking back to the airport. Taxiing out, another run up and a static RPM check everything OK engine gauges in the green, line up and go. The take off was gratifying, climbing at about 1000fpm at 100kts, showing 12.5 gph at full throttle. All the gauges were in the green when BANG! A violent vibration shook me awake. At first I thought I lost a piece of the prop, but when the prop stopped with another bang a could see that it was all there. This all took place between take off and before turning crosswind. There was no hope of making it back to the airport and the best choice of fields was on the other side of a housing development and some wires. I was able to land in that field with no damage to the plane, and upon removal of the cowl in that field, discovered what the problem was. There was a hole in the crankcase with a connecting rod, minus the cap sticking out of it.
Here it is with my son, on its way out of the field on the way back to the airport.
It is now sitting in the hangar with the engine off again, waiting for another overhauled engine. I expect that it will be flying again in a week or so. About the only parts to be reused are the mags, carb and vacuum pump. Stay tuned for the next update.....