On December 2, 1998, approximately 1425 central standard time, a Holiman Pietenpol Aircamper homebuilt airplane, N396S, was substantially damage upon collision with a power line while maneuvering near England, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was seriously injured. The experimental airplane was owned and operated by the pilot/builder under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area for the local personal flight. The flight originated from the Saline County Airport, in Benton, Arkansas, approximately 30 minutes prior to the accident.

According to witnesses near the accident site, the high wing tailwheel equipped airplane was observed maneuvering at low altitude in the vicinity of the accident. A nearby resident reported to law enforcement officers that he heard the sound of the airplane engine flying near his residence. The resident reported that the sound of the engine stopped about the same time that his home lost electrical power. The resident went outside and observed that the single powerline servicing his home was down on the ground and the remains of the wood and fabric airplane came to rest on a southerly heading, approximately 200 feet beyond the point where the wire was severed. The property owner estimated that the severed power line was suspended about 30 feet above the ground.

The 74 year old commercial pilot was occupying the front seat of the 2-seat tandem airplane. He was reported to have been hospitalized for over 2 months as result of injuries sustained. In a statement to his daughter, who completed the attached NTSB Form 6120.1/2, the pilot stated that he did not have any recollection about the flight or the accident.

Examination of the wreckage by the FAA inspector who traveled to the accident site revealed that the fuselage and both wings sustained structural damage. The inspector further noted continuity to all flight controls. Likewise, continuity was established to all engine controls. Fuel was found at the site and there was no fire.

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