At approximately 1425 Pacific time, an amateur-built Vans RV-8 lost engine power in the pattern at Grants Pass Airport and struck trees, killing the pilot. The airplane, which had not flown in about a year, had taken off about five minutes earlier. The airport operations director said the pilot/owner was preparing the airplane for sale. The airplane was on downwind when the pilot reported he was having engine problems. However, the pilot extended his downwind well past the approach end of the runway, then turned back toward the airport and crashed a half-mile short of the runway.