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Pilot killed near Lake Skinner celebrated record-holder

Carl Johan Nurmi, 61, died on Monday

TEMECULA, Calif. - The helicopter pilot killed Monday in a crash near Lake Skinner held several speed records and was a long-time instructor based at the French Valley Airport.

Funeral plans were pending today for Carl Johan Nurmi, 61, of Corona. Authorities said he was at the controls of a Robinson R22 that crash-landed southwest of Lake Skinner and east of French Valley Airport about 10:15 a.m. Monday.

A passenger walked away from the accident.

Nurmi, known as Johan, owned the USA Academy of Aviation, based at the French Valley Airport. He was an FAA Gold Seal helicopter flight instructor with about 25 years of experience and more than 11,000 flight hours. He held seven U.S. and five international helicopter flight speed records, according to the flight school's website.

No one at the flight school could be reached for comment Tuesday morning.

Investigators with the the National Transportation Safety Board were in charge of the probe.

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