The airplane experienced a loss of engine power while maneuvering in the traffic pattern at about 1515 Eastern time. The pilot made a forced landing short of the runway and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed; the private pilot received minor injuries.
According to the pilot, it was the first flight after an engine installation and he planned to stay in the traffic pattern. Prior to departure he conducted an engine run-up and magneto check. After everything was checked, he took off and climbed to traffic-pattern altitude. While on the downwind leg, the engine lost partial power. The pilot attempted to return to the airport but was unsuccessful and made a forced landing short of the runway.