WPR11LA133
WPR11LA133

On February 12, 2011, at 1753 mountain standard time, a Buckeye Breeze LX powered parachute, N75752, impacted terrain while on approach to landing at a wilderness campsite, 30 miles north of the Bullfrog Basin Airport, Bullfrog, Utah. The student pilot operated the experimental category aircraft under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot was fatally injured, and the powered parachute was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

Witnesses reported that the pilot flew over their campsite three times to monitor the wind conditions. After the third pass, the pilot appeared to turn to land. Witnesses heard the engine power increase, however, the parachute started to descend steeply until they heard an impact.

Review of amateur video filmed by a witness at the landing area revealed that the parachute flew low over the landing area at an altitude of 3-4 feet. As the parachute reached the end of the landing area and the canyon ledge, the engine sound increased in pitch, and the parachute pitched up abruptly, followed by a rapid descent and 180-degree turn before it dropped out of the video frame, descending beneath the canyon ledge. The wreckage was located below the canyon ledge on steeply sloped terrain.

At 1655, the nearest weather reporting station located about 19 miles north of the campsite reported calm wind; clear skies; 60-statute miles of visibility; temperature 9 degrees Celsius (C); and dew point -6 degrees C. At the accident site, the home video revealed clear skies and no evidence of any wind conditions.

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