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Pilot Killed In Helicopter Crash Identified

James Bechler, 61, died shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday, moments after the helicopter he was piloting crashed at Corona Municipal Airport.

The pilot killed in Sunday’s helicopter crash has been identified.

According to the Riverside County Coroner’s Office, James Bechler, 61, died shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday, moments after the helicopter he was piloting crashed at Corona Municipal Airport.

Investigators are working to determine what caused the mishap with the four-seat Robinson R-44. According to a preliminary report from the Federal Aviation Administration, the chopper struck a canopy at the fueling station area of the airport and exploded.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said a National Transportation Safety Board investigator at the crash scene reported that the helicopter's rotor blades struck the canopy that sits over the fuel pumps.

"However, we don't know the sequence of events or circumstances behind the accident," Gregor told City News Service.

The chopper was registered to Bechler’s law offices in Las Vegas, according to FAA registration records.

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