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Calif. helicopter crash kills 1, injures 1

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Associated Press
MURRIETA, Calif. -- A helicopter crashed in a field near a rural Riverside County airport on Monday, killing the pilot and leaving his passenger with minor injuries, authorities said.
The cause of the crash was under investigation.
The single-engine Robinson R22 went down shortly after 10 a.m. Monday about three to four miles east of French Valley Airport, with two people on board, said Lynn Lunsford of the Federal Aviation Administration.
The pilot, Carl Numi, of Corona, was killed, according to a coroner’s statement.
Numi, an airman with 24 years of experience and several helicopter speed records, was the owner of a local flight school, USA Academy of Aviation, in Murrieta, according to the school’s website.
Neighbors told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that helicopters often do exercises in the area.
“We just figured it was training,” Blair Hawley, who lives near the crash site, told the newspaper. “They will fly around the area, they will fly low and fly high and they go up, shut off their engine, and do a crash landing scenario, and turn their chopper back on.”
Hawley said she did not see the helicopter hit the ground, but she looked out and saw it on its roof in the barren, brushy area. Nobody on the ground was hurt, no buildings were hit and no fire broke out, sheriff’s Deputy Albert Martinez said.
The name of the passenger was not immediately released.
The Robinson R22 is popular as a training aircraft, but it was not immediately known who owned the helicopter.
The crash site is in a desert area about 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
Story tags » Plane crash

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