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On June 18, 1999, approximately 1100 central daylight time, a Heilig-Reading Emeraude CP 301A amateur built experimental airplane, N3751, owned and operated by the pilot, was substantially damaged when it collided with a power line during landing at the Winfield Airpark near Altus, Arkansas. The pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight originated from the Winfield Airpark at an undetermined time.
A witness, who resided near the departure end of runway 09, reported that the pilot had contacted him by radio sometime before 1100. The pilot stated that he was "down and taxiing back." That was the last communications he had with the pilot.
The resident further reported that about 1300 he realized that he had not heard from the pilot so he went out to the runway to see if he could see the airplane. The pilot had a hangar near the approach end of runway 09. He looked down the runway and saw that the aircraft had crashed on the approach end of runway 09.
According to FAA records, the pilot was issued a private pilot certificate on March 25, 1985, with an airplane single-engine land rating. The pilot held a second class medical certificate, issued October 16, 1998. The certificate stipulated a limitation to wear corrective lenses when operating an aircraft.
An examination of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight time of 3,104 hours, of which 11 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The date of the pilot's last biennial flight review was October 19, 1998. The pilot had previously flown from the private airstrip.
The 1970 model Heilig-Reading Emeraude CP 301A, was a single-engine, fabric covered, tailwheel equipped, low wing experimental amateur-built airplane. It was powered by a Textron Lycoming O-290-D2 engine, rated at 135 horsepower, and a Sensenich, two-blade, fixed pitch wooden propeller.
The aircraft's last condition inspection was completed on March 8, 1999, at a total aircraft time of 1,120.0 hours. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated a total of 1,125 flight hours.
A review of the airframe and engine maintenance records, by the NTSB investigator-in-charge, did not reveal evidence of any uncorrected maintenance defects. The aircraft's maximum gross weight was 1,595 pounds, and an estimate of the aircraft's weight at the time of the accident placed it within weight and balance limits.
The Winfield Airpark is a private airstrip, and it is located about 3.7 miles south of Altus. The airstrip's grass runway is 2,600 feet long and oriented 270/090 degrees.
WRECKAGE IMPACT INFORMATION
Examination of the accident site revealed that an electrical wire and its support cable, located prior to the approach end of runway 09 was down. The wire and cable had extended 71.5 feet from an approximately 20-foot-tall pole, located 167 feet from the runway and next to a barn, diagonally across the flight path of runway 09 to an approximately 24-foot-tall pole, located about 98 feet from the runway. The downed support cable displayed a mark 13 feet and 10 inches from the pole located next to the barn. There was also a red paint transfer mark on the support cable and scrapes on the wire and cable near the insulator, which had attached the wire to the pole. The airplane impacted the ground and a barbed wire fence at the edge of the approach end of runway 09. It came to rest inverted, on a heading of 040 degrees magnetic, approximately 26.5 feet from the initial ground scar.
Examination of the airframe revealed that the left wing was separated from the fuselage, and the left flap and aileron were separated from the wing. The right wing was attached to the fuselage, and displayed an area, 41 inches from the tip, that had damage to the leading edge. At this area of damage, there was a tear consistent with a wire strike. The vertical stabilizer was fractured at the fuselage, and the rudder was deflected to the right. The left horizontal stabilizer had a tear on the leading edge near the fuselage. Continuity was established from the cockpit controls to all flight control surfaces except for the separated left wing.
Examination of the engine revealed that the propeller remained attached. One blade was shattered, and its tip was found stuck in the ground prior to the ground scar. The other blade displayed some leading edge damage. The crankshaft was rotated by hand with the valve covers and top spark plugs removed. Continuity was confirmed to all cylinders and to the rear of the engine. Finger compression was noted on all cylinders. Both magnetos sparked at all terminals when rotated by hand.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock, Arkansas, performed an autopsy of the pilot. Toxicological tests performed by the FAA's Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory were negative.
The aircraft wreckage was released to the owner's representative on June 16, 1999.