LAX07CA087
LAX07CA087

On February 10, 2007, about 1000 Pacific standard time, an unregistered and non-certificated airplane collided with terrain on El Mirage dry lake near Adelanto, California. The owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The non-certificated pilot sustained fatal injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The origin point, destination, and purpose of the flight were not determined. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

Witnesses stated that the airplane was flying eastbound over the middle of the lake bed about 200 feet agl at 60 to 80 mph. It started to climb; the right wing suddenly went down, and the airplane went straight down into the ground. Two of the witnesses rode their motorcycles to the site, but reported that the pilot was unresponsive. The sheriff's report noted that the airplane was a red, white, and blue "Mini-Max" low wing airplane, but it had no registration numbers. The right wing was nearly intact. The right wing was lying against the fuselage with the leading edge on the ground, and the trailing edge facing toward the sky. It had ripped from its attachment point beneath the pilot's seat. The left wing was destroyed. The landing gear seemed intact except for the right main landing gear strut, which was damaged, but still attached. The Rotax engine broke away from the engine mount. One propeller blade was shattered and missing; the other blade appeared undamaged. The fuselage was relatively intact aft of the cabin. The cockpit sustained severe damage; its wooden structure was splintered, and almost unrecognizable as a cockpit.

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