On August 12, 2000, at 1324 Eastern Daylight Time, an Aviat A-1 Husky, N79PS, was substantially damaged from collision with wires and terrain during approach to the Stoltzfus Airport (OH22), Kidron, Ohio. The certificated airline transport pilot was seriously injured. The passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In a written statement, the pilot said:

"I approached the field from the east and entered a left hand traffic pattern for Runway 36. As [I was] turning final, I noticed the runway threshold was displaced. My first thought was that displacement was due to height of trees at end of runway. To get more clearance from the trees, I moved left from them. At that point, I saw the marked wires. My reaction was to go under the wires. As I went to go below the marked wires, I struck the southern set of wires which were not marked and I did not see."

In a subsequent written statement, the pilot said that he observed landing and departing traffic from the traffic pattern, and noticed an airplane landing on the grass west of the runway. After he realized the displaced threshold was due to tall trees, he opted for an approach and landing to the grass left (west) of the runway. He said:

"As I turned base to final, I realized that the displacement was due to tall trees that seemed to begin approximately in line with the western edge of the runway and extended eastward. It appeared that left of the trees was clear and that a grass landing would be a good choice. I started to reduce altitude and began moving left of the trees planning a normal approach to the grass. As soon as I did this, I saw a red ball indicating wires. My reaction was to avoid the wires by getting under them. I was able to go under the wires that were marked without any contact but as I did that, I caught a wire that was unmarked on the south side of the road, which caused the airplane to pitch down and hit the ground."

The runway at OH22 was 3,400 feet long and oriented North/South. A paved road oriented East/West ran perpendicular to the runway at the approach end of Runway 36. A set of high tension power lines with orange marker balls displayed, ran along the North side of the roadway. A smaller, unmarked set of telephone wires ran along the South side of the roadway.

Five witnesses provided written statements to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. They all described the airplane's approach to the runway as "low", "too low", "very low" or "extremely low." They each described the airplane as it contacted the wires, pitched nose down, and collided with terrain.

In a telephone interview, one of the witnesses said:

"I was about 150 feet from the point of impact. I looked up and saw the airplane about 2 seconds before it contacted the telephone lines and crashed into the ground right in front of me.

"I heard the airplane on approach and looked up. It sounded completely normal; it sounded like a normal airplane on approach. The attitude indicated normal airspeed; there were no abnormal attitudes at all. Everything looked normal except he was way too low.

"He caught the telephone line on the main gear just below the fuselage, the airplane pitched 30 to 45 degrees nose down, and crashed into the ground. He hit the lower lines on the south side of the road. The marker balls are on the higher set of lines - the high tension lines."

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, single-engine sea, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor's certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. The pilot was issued a first class medical certificate on May 17, 1999.

The pilot reported 2,405 hours of flight experience, of which 114 hours were in the Aviat Husky.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical deficiencies with the airplane.

The weather in Smithville, Ohio, 9 miles northwest of OH22 was few clouds at 5,000 feet, with winds from 010 degrees at 11 knots.

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