NTSB Identification: MIA98FA039.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, December 02, 1997 in LANSING, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/1998
Aircraft: Christen Industries A-1, registration: N9613P
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was seen flying low, in a westerly direction, through a valley about 5 miles west of the departure airport. The airplane struck a utility wire that stretched north and south across the valley and a road. The airplane then continued on a heading of 340 degrees for about 500 feet where the right wing separated from the airframe. The airplane came to rest about 300 feet south of a private home, in the front yard. The home was owned by the the pilot/owner's cousin. Two men sitting in a pickup truck near the crash site said in a statement to police, they were in the truck with the engine off and the windows down. The driver said they were sitting there for about 5 minutes when he looked out his left window and saw the airplane coming toward them. The driver said he 'does not recall hearing the engine running' on the airplane as it was coming down. The driver told his passenger to 'duck he's going to hit us.' In addition, the truck's driver said, '...he [saw] the right wing hit a cable,' and then come off just before impact with the ground. Local residents said that the pilot/owner of the airplane lived in a house a short distance west of the crash site, and had flown around the area often. The airplane had not been seen in the area on the day of the accident. It was revealed that rescue workers had remove the utility wire that was wrapped around the airframe in order to extract the victim from the cockpit. The wire was found lying to the right rear of the airplane. The right wing had separated from the airframe and was located east of the main wreckage. The right wing displayed wire strike marks on the wing strut. The strut was found separated from the wing. Examination of the engine and propeller did not reveal any discrepancies.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot's failure to maintain clearance from a wire.

Full narrative available

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