On November 6, 1998, at 0900 central standard time (cst), a Tomschin Mini 500, N316AZ, piloted by a non-certificated individual, sustained substantial damage when while in cruise flight, the helicopter struck a power line. The helicopter subsequently impacted into a farm field, 4 miles east of Clinton, Minnesota. 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 individual operating the helicopter at the time of the accident reported no injuries.

At 0910 cst, the Big Stone County, Minnesota, Sheriff's Department received a telephone call from a farmer who said that a small red helicopter had hit some electric wires 5 miles east of Clinton, Minnesota along Big Stone County Road 6. The Sheriff responded to the scene and found the helicopter resting upright in a farm field just north of the road. The individual who had piloted the helicopter was not at the scene when the Sheriff arrived. Shortly after the Sheriff arrived, the non-pilot returned to the scene with a flat bed truck. The Sheriff assisted the non-pilot with loading the helicopter wreckage on to the truck. The non-pilot told the Sheriff that he was okay.

When interviewed by a Big Stone County, Minnesota, Sheriff's Deputy, the individual who piloted the helicopter said that he was flying the helicopter and everything was working fine. As he looked inside at one of the gauges, he felt a strong tug on the helicopter. The non-pilot said that he knew right away that he had hit some high wires. He tried to keep the helicopter from crashing. The non-pilot said that he felt the wires break and he landed the helicopter the best that he could. It landed upright on the skids.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the helicopter wreckage at the residence of the non-pilot. The helicopter's tail boom was broken off just behind the engine compartment. Both forward and rear cross-tubes to the skids were bent upward. The engine mounts were bent upward. Both main rotor blades were broken in several places. Flight control continuity was confirmed. Examination of the engine, engine controls and other helicopter systems revealed no anomalies.

The non-pilot told the FAA inspector that he did not possess a pilot certificate or a current medical certificate. The non- pilot said that he had taken several lessons in Alabama. A review of his pilot logbook showed that the non-pilot had 23 total hours of flight time in helicopters.

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