Approximately 300 feet after takeoff, the engine power reduced to idle and simultaneously a small bang or tapping sound was heard with a vibration felt in the airframe, resulting in an immediate decision to turn back and land on the runway.
The instruc tor was not completely familiar with the handling characteristics of the trike, which had a higher wing loading that the one he was familiar with. Insufficient height was available to complete the turn back to the runway, resulting in a heavy landing on the aerodrome. A fire then broke out, which destroyed much of the aircraft.
Both on board received moderate injuries during the hard landing.
Investigation by the instructor revealed that the foot operated throttle inner cable had broken resulting in the loss of engine power. This was not the first time the instructor had experienced an inner throttle cable break. He suggested the following piece of advice, which has since been published in the June 2017 issue of the RAANZ Recreational Pilot e-zine online magazine.
On most trike foot-operated throttles, the cable has a sag in it between the throttle pedal and the carburettors. If any moisture gets in to the front of the cable, eg, when taxiing through wet grass, it will migrate to the lowest point of the cable and deterioration of the inner cable will begin. It is suggested that the inner cable be removed, inspected and lubricated at regular intervals.