A Del Mar, Calif. cardiologist, 58-year-old Dr. Reinaldo W. Beyer, died on Saturday, September 8, 2012 at about 12:40 p.m. PDT after bailing out of a 2009 MXS high performance stunt aircraft, tail number N21MX, over Borrego Valley Airport (BXS) located about 3-1/2 miles east of Borrego Springs, Calif.
The plane in which he was flying experienced mechanical difficulties and crashed into the ground, sustaining massive damage.
The experimental single-seat aerobatic aircraft was assembled by Edward R. Moore of San Diego, Calif. from a kit sold by MX Aircraft, Inc. The manufacturer operates from a plant located at Wilkes County Airport (IKB) in North Wilkesboro, N.C. The home-built kits are offered at a base price of $385,000 for the MKS model.
They also make a two seat tandem sport aircraft called the MX2, used by competitors in the annual Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Dr. Beyer had been attracted to flying as a young child growing up in Chile, and had his first flight when he was 3-years-old in his uncle's Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer. He went on to fly gliders during his teenage years, eventually becoming a glider instructor and tow pilot.
His aviation interests were put on hold during his medical training in which he advanced to becoming a board-certified cardiologist, specializing in interventional cardiology at Sharp Memorial Hospital and Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group. He was also a member of the faculty at the University of California Medical School in San Diego.
Dr. Beyer also found time to continue his flight training after his wife presented him with the gift of a pilot refresher course. The couple bought a Mooney 201 and later a Mooney M20 Bravo single engine light aircraft.
He eventually extended his training into aerobatic flying, acquiring an Extra Flugzeugbau EA-300 high performance two-seat aerobatic monoplane which he kept at Montgomery Field Airport (MYF) in San Diego, Calif.
After taking part in a number of aerobatic competitions, he joined the elite, 7-member USA Advanced Aerobatic Team based in Scottsdale, Ariz., and eventually was elected as the team's captain in 2010. It was a highlight of his aviation career.
The MXS aircraft that Dr. Beyer bailed from over the Anza-Borrego Desert on Saturday was powered by a 300 horsepower Lycoming AEIO-540 engine, having fuel injection and inverted lubrication for aerobatic use. The plane had a top speed of 242 miles an hour, a cruising speed of 207 miles an hour, a stall speed of 67 miles an hour, and carried 58 gallons of fuel.
His untimely death is a loss to his family, the medical community, and the special fraternity of competitive aerobatic pilots. All those who knew Dr. Beyer may take comfort in the fact that he made great contributions to humanity, and lived his shortened life to the fullest.
We offer our sincere condolences to all those who were impacted by this tragic loss.
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