Saturday, July 22, 2017

Panzl S331E, N331ST: Fatal accident occurred July 22, 2017 in Apple Valley, San Bernardino County, California

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Riverside, California

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA161
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 22, 2017 in Apple Valley, CA
Aircraft: APPLEGATE PANZL S331E, registration: N331ST
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 July 22, 2017, about 1500 Pacific daylight time an Applegate Panzl S331E airplane, N331ST, impacted terrain while conducting aerobatic maneuvers about 3 miles northeast of the Apple Valley Airport (APV), Apple Valley, California. The pilot, sole occupant, died and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from APV about 1445. 

Witnesses reported this was the second flight of the day practicing this particular aerobatic sequence. About three quarters through the sequence, the pilot conducted an aileron roll and was descending towards the ground as expected, however, she never reduced power and leveled the airplane. Subsequently, the airplane impacted the ground.

The airplane has been recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Margo Chase

Margo Chase, the founder and chief creative officer of the Chase Design Group, died in a plane crash Saturday, July 22, 2017, according to a news release from her company.

Chase founded her company in 1986 and built it into a successful global brand-design firm. Chris Lowery, president of Chase Design, said the company will continue to be inspired by the insatiable curiosity and love of design she embodied.

“Everyone in the Chase Design Group family has been touched and inspired by Margo’s creativity, generous spirit, and love for design. We will all miss her brilliance and incredible energy, but will carry her vision for the organization forward as she would have wanted,” he said. “All of us here at Chase send our heartfelt condolences to her husband, Patrick Dugan, and the rest of her family.”

Chase, who was born in 1958, designed logos for the television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.” Her company has worked on branding for major companies including Target, PepsiCo, Nestlé, and the Campbell Soup Co.

Chase Design also has worked with many celebrities including Cher and Madonna.

Chase taught classes at the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia; Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, and Long Beach State University. Her work was included in an exhibition at “Women Designers USA: 1900 – 2000,” which was sponsored by Bard College.

Margo Chase, 59, died on July 22, in Apple Valley after her plane crashed in the desert.

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. ( Friends and family are remembering the life of Margo Chase, an influential graphic designer who tragically lost her life over the weekend at the age of 59.

On Saturday, July 22, as Margo Chase soared over the open desert skies of Apple Valley, practicing her favorite sport of flying, her Panzl Aerobatic Airplane came crashing down as her husband Patrick Dugan and a family friend watched from the ground.

Although Chase died upon impact as a result of the crash, those who knew her say her memories will always live on.

“Margo was one of the most skilled, talented, and dedicated people I have ever met in my life… She was bright, intelligent, and simply fun to be with. She thoroughly enjoyed flying, our sport, and our history, traditions, and people. We are devastated by this news,” Mike Heuer, International Aerobatic Club (IAC) President said in a statement.

Dubbed as one of the most influential graphic designers of our time, her adrenaline-pumped lifestyle has touched just about everyone’s lives whether we know it or not.

She founded her business Chase Design Group in 1986 and created award-winning work for clients including P&G, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Mattel, and Target.

Chase shined with creativity and was even hired to work for such Hollywood notables as Cher, Madonna and the Tejano crossover singer, Selena; creating the jacket for Selena’s cross-over album Dreaming of You.

Chase has also been credited for re-modernizing the logos for Mr. Clean and designing logos for other popular brands and television shows, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In a video interview for, she expressed how her love for creativity guided her passion into flying:

“I draw in the sky. I love the idea that there’s this goal of perfection that I’m striving for, cause it keeps the challenge there since perfection is something you can never really achieve,” stated Margo.

“My heart goes out to Patrick Dugan, her husband; Tim Just, both of whom were there in Apple Valley with her; and her many friends, family, and colleagues. When we lose good friends like this, life is never quite the same as it leaves a hole in your heart that is always there,” Mike Heuer wrote.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff Department’s aviation division is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to determine the cause of the crash.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. ( A single-engine plane went down in Apple Valley Saturday afternoon, killing the pilot.

The crash was reported at 2:17 p.m. outside the boundaries of the Apple Valley Airport, in the desert areas, east of Central and Johnson Roads.

Apple Valley Fire Protection firefighters were dispatched and located the plane with the assistance of the CHP Helicopter.

Fire Chief Sid Hultquist said they confirmed one person was killed but was unable to provide further details.

The Federal Aviation Administration will work with Law Enforcement in the investigation.

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