As Stephen's son, I do remember working with my dad on the Vari Eze that ulimately took his life.
The weekend before he crashed and was killed in the Vari Eze, I do remember something that happened and that was when he was doing tests on running the engine, something snapped. not sure what it was, but from what I remembered, it required my dad to take off the prop, and the imput shaft.
My dad thought something had broken off but when he didnt find anything, me and him, put it back together.
the following weekend, December 18th 1998, at about 817am, he crashed. when the FAA researched the plane, they said that they had discovered that one of the pistons had been completely destoryed, causing dentation and ulimately engine failure.
Personally, even though I was only 12 when my dad died, I think whatever might have broken off, actually ended up inside of the engine and thats what ended up resulting in engine failure.