NTSB Identification: WPR12FA203
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 12, 2012 in Whitewater, CA
Aircraft: M Squared Breese, registration: N51336
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 12, 2012, about 1915 Pacific daylight time, an experimental light sport M-Squared Breese DS, N51336, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Whitewater, California. The pilot received fatal injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no FAA flight plan was filed for the flight.

The pilot was a member of the Ultralight Squadron of America, which was a southern California chapter of the U.S. Ultralight Association. According to other members of the club, the pilot and the airplane were based in Perris, California. The day before the accident, the pilot flew the airplane from Perris to a private strip in Joshua Tree, California, and then to a second private strip in Landers, California, where the club was holding a weekend event. The morning of the accident, he again flew to Joshua Tree and back. He did not fly the airplane anymore that day, until he departed for Perris about 1830.

About 1920, two persons in an automobile headed north near Whitewater noticed the airplane a few hundred yards ahead of them, at an altitude they estimated to be about 400 feet above the ground. The airplane was headed west, and it appeared to them that the pilot was having difficulty, due to the fact that the wings were "rocking." They then observed the airplane begin a 270-degree left turn until it was headed approximately north. Just as the airplane came around to a northerly heading, it "flipped" and began a rapid nose-down descent. The witnesses saw the airplane launch a "flare," followed by a parachute that opened and remained attached to the airplane. The airplane impacted the ground several seconds later, still in a nose-down attitude. The witnesses stopped their car, attempted to render aid to the pilot, and telephoned 911 for assistance. According to Cal Fire documentation, the incident call was received about 1919, personnel and equipment were dispatched about 1923, and they arrived on scene about 1935.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) information indicated that the pilot held a sport pilot certificate. The airplane was manufactured in 1977, and was equipped with a 56 hp HKS 700E series engine, and a Ballistic Recovery Systems brand parachute. The owner of the airplane estimated that it had a total time in service of about 210 hours, and that the pilot had about 9,000 total hours of flight experience.

The 1950 automated weather observation at a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration station located less than 2 miles northwest of the impact site included winds from the west at 21 mph, with gusts to 35 mph.

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