Sunday, August 25, 2019

Meyers Midget 0100, N881MM: Fatal accident occurred August 23, 2019 near McMahon-Wrinkle Airport (KBPG), Big Spring, Howard County, Texas

Beat Burkart

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Big Spring, TX
Accident Number: WPR19FA235
Date & Time: 08/23/2019, 2015 CDT
Registration: N881MM
Aircraft: MEYERS Midget 0100
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 23, 2019, about 2015 central daylight time, an experimental Meyers Midget 0100 airplane, N881MM, impacted terrain about 5 miles southwest of the Big Spring McMahon-Wrinkle Airport (BPG), Big Spring, Texas. The airplane was registered to Montrex Racing, Inc and operated by the pilot as a 
Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated from BGP about 2000.

A witness, who was flying in another airplane along with the accident pilot, reported that the purpose of the flight was for the two of them to fly in close proximity to one another. They both took off from BPG and conducted several ovals above the airport property. They climbed to about 4,000 ft above ground level and departed the vicinity of the airport. The witness reported that the accident pilot decided to conduct a roll in his airplane. The accident pilot started a steep descent and the witness had to turn his airplane away to keep the accident airplane in sight. When he looked back, the accident airplane was inverted, and it started to descend in a spiral. He attempted to reach the pilot via the radio, telling him how to exit the spiral, but to no avail. The accident airplane continued to spiral until about 500 feet above the ground when the airplane was upright and now in a slight right bank. The witness turned his airplane again and when he looked back, he observed a cloud of dust on the ground and the accident airplane on its belly.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MEYERS
Registration: N881MM
Model/Series: Midget 0100
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BPG, 2573 ft msl
Observation Time: 2010 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 6000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / , 140°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Big Spring, TX (BPG)
Destination: Big Spring, TX (BPG) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.143056, -101.586944 (est)

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 

KBEST Media reports that the name of the pilot killed in a plane crash Friday evening has now been released.

The pilot was 50-year-old Beat Burkart.

We are learning more about a plane crash in Big Spring Friday evening that killed the pilot.

KBEST Media reports that a pilot from Switzerland was flight testing a racing plane when he crashed after take off.

Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker told KBEST that they received help finding the crash site from the Air Force Recovery in Boca Raton, Florida.

They were able to track the plane's last transponder signal, and the Sheriff's office was able to find the plane.

The crash happened Friday evening in the Lomax area, which is west of US 87 and south of FM 818.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

Original article can be found here ➤

BIG SPRING, Texas — A plane crashed in the Big Spring area on Friday after taking off from the McMahon-Wrinkle Airport according to an official from the airport.  A search for the downed plane is currently underway in the Elbow area, southwest of Big Spring. Sheriff Stan Parker confirmed the victim of the plane crash was Beat Burkart, 50, from Switzerland.

Original article can be found here ➤

UPDATE 12:45 a.m: The plane has been located. The pilot was the sole occupant and did not survive the crash. His identification will not be released until notification of the family, however he is not believed to be local. Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker has informed us that the National Transportation Safety Board en route.

9:40 p.m: The Howard County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that a small plane departed the Big Spring Airport this evening and witnesses saw it go down at approximately 8:15pm. There is currently an active search for the aircraft in the Lomax area. Darkness is greatly hindering the search therefore the Department of Public Safety is en route with Forward-Looking Infrared cameras to aid in locating the plane. The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified of the events.


  1. This one has some sad flags... check out the "Beat Burkart" YouTube channel.
    He just got this plane running this year.
    Two months ago on the second test flight the canopy partially breaks loose (latch failure?) and the whole thing is documented in the video. SCARY to see but he apparently managed to get it down in one piece. But the video clearly shows how negatively it affected control of the plane. Then there is another video posted from just 6 days ago showing the new canopy had just been installed on the plane. Then day of the accident there is a video of high speed overflight of Big Spring airport runway. Makes one wonder if there was a related in-flight failure of this newest canopy.

  2. My friend was behind him he is the race school teacher and that’s not what happened. From the story he told me. It was pilot error really sad

  3. so …. what did happen according to your friend ?
    They were supposed to be racing at Reno as a new Swiss formula one air race team with N881MM.
    Not judging but more wondering after seeing , tricky wheather ? tricky plane ? or just at the edge of his skills as a pilot ?

  4. Those midgets are an absolute handful to fly. I have about 20 hours in one and can only say it's like balancing a ping pong ball on a stick. After watching the videos I can say this pilot was way over his head in this airplane. It appears the aircraft was improperly trimmed (or aft CG), poorly built (as evident by the poor fitment of the canopy as obvious in the the video) and being a bit ham fisted for this type. I'm not saying he wasn't an experienced pilot, but I will say he wasn't experienced in this type. I swore off the midget after about 20 hours and wrote it off as a fair weather stunt/aerobatic novelty plane that I'd never step into again.
    RIP to the pilot and my condolences to his family. Very unfortunate tragedy.

  5. As a former Midget Mustang owner, I found my particular aircraft to be an honest flyer that did exactly what I asked it do. It was a finger tip flyer, very sensitive (responsive) in all three control axes, and neutrally stable. I can certainly see how even an experienced pilot with little time in type could easily over control and get themselves in trouble. I vividly remember my first flight as it required an immediate re-calibration as to what constituted 'small' control movements. Landing the aircraft on "pavement" and maintaining center line after touchdown was also a consistently challenging task. I strongly disagree with Mustang Aero's statement that someone with 10 hours experience in a Champ, Cub, or some other type of conventional geared aircraft is prepared to fly the Mustang. At best it qualifies you to steal enough rides until you gain sufficient competency, decide the aircraft isn't for you, or bend the airplane or yourself. Unfortunately the pilot in question experienced the later. My condolences and prayers to his family.

  6. I flew two different Cassutt's for several years. Both were built close to plans. Both flew very similar. I taught myself basic aerobatics in the first one I flew.
    Sensitive on the controls, especially elevator. Otherwise very easy to fly. I did one flight each in MMI and MMII. Both a bit easier than Cassutt except for stall which is very dependent on leading edge shape on both I and II.
    For a definitive article on the Cassutt look up the articles by the late Giles Henderson in both Sport Aviation and Sport Aerobatics.
    I had the canopy come open on the Cassutt on takeoff. It was a non event. high speed would be a problem unless one had a helmet with face protection.

  7. I don’t understand. The story is that he tried to do a roll and lost control and spiraled down to the ground from 4000 AGL. The wreckage looks like the aircraft is right side up and almost all in one piece. Is there an investigation into wether there was possible mechanical failure and he tried making an emergency landing that came down too hard? In an aircraft like that I’d imagine you’d need to goose the power to soften the landing but if he lost power that would make sense why the impact from an emergency landing could be fatal.

  8. The witness pilot stated the airplane lost control in the attempted execution of a roll. With a dive for speed, I can only speculate perhaps a barrel roll rather than aileron roll. At any rate, the plane entered a spiral dive and it sounds like the accident pilot managed to get it upright and not spinning close to the point of impact. As far as the investigation goes, yes, the NTSB will look at the airplane and determine if the engine was operating at impact and if all flight controls had continuity from the cockpit outwards. They investigate crew, machine, and environment. Witness statements are very important but are not solely relied on for a probable cause.

  9. I have owned and flown both the M1 & M II , having 1000 in the two types. Can’t understand stand how could get into so much trouble doing a aileron roll at 4000 feet ? I could aileron roll the Midget either of the two different midgets that I own at 4000 feet several times in a row , and not lose any altitude. He was either way behind the airplane, or there was some type of control failure?? Midget Mustang & Mustang II are not that difficult to fly in my opinion, they are just like any other airplane you have to fly them.
    my condolences to the family .

  10. died doing what he loved....flash in the pan doing a cunning stunt

  11. Agree with Moxfox, the roll rate of the Mustang is such that an aileron roll in level flight is a real non-event. A tad over a second and you are done. Given what you can piece together concerning the factors contributing to the crash, I suspect the most important were little aerobatic experience/unusual attitude recovery training and very little time in type. Piecing together a timeline, it looks like the accident pilot purchased the aircraft in late March, his first takeoff and landing where in mid June, the canopy problem occurred in late June, the first flight after the canopy was repaired was in mid August, and the accident occurred a week later. Assuming this timeline is reasonably correct, it doesn't seem consistent with obtaining a reasonable level of competency in type, let alone sufficient preparation for Reno in mid September. Is it possible there would have been a different outcome if the plan to race at Reno had been taken off the table?

  12. I was told the accident pilot was already flying about 30 years (PPL) in Europe.