CHI98LA044
CHI98LA044

On November 24, 1997, at 1600 central standard time (cst), a Cessna 152, N49908, operated by an airline transport pilot, sustained substantial damage when on short final for landing at a private airstrip, the airplane's vertical stabilizer struck a powerline. The airplane subsequently impacted the terrain. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. No flight plan was on file. The pilot reported minor injuries. The flight originated at West Chicago, Illinois, at 1530 cst.

In his written statement, the pilot said that he was en route to Harvard, Illinois, in the vicinity of the private airstrip, when the airstrip's owner contacted the pilot over the radio and invited him to land his airplane there. The pilot said that he had overflow the airstrip on previous occasions and knew that it was long enough to land on, but was unaware of any obstacles in the vicinity of the airstrip. While on final, the pilot saw powerlines running parallel to the west side of the runway. The pilot flew the approach so as to land slightly east of the runway centerline. On short final the pilot saw a second set of powerlines crossing the approach end of the airstrip. The pilot tried to fly under them, but the leading edge of the airplane's vertical stabilizer impacted the wire. The airplane yawed, pitched up slightly and then dropped to the ground.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the wreckage at the airstrip. The airplane's nose gear was broken off. The propeller had broken off at the flange. Both blades were bent aft and showed chordwise scratches. The engine mount was twisted to the right. The airplane's fuselage showed right twisting and buckling through the cabin, aft to the empennage. Flight control continuity was confirmed. Examination of the airplane's engine, engine controls and other airplane systems revealed no anomalies.

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