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Pilot Is Killed in Weekend Copter Crash

October 06, 1998|S.J. CAHN

The pilot of a homemade helicopter was killed over the weekend when his aircraft crashed into Brea Canyon north of Simi Valley.

Mark Burson, 47, of Simi Valley died of his injuries in the crash late Sunday, according to James Baroni, an investigator with the Ventura County coroner's office.

Burson's wife reported him missing about 8:45 p.m. Sunday, authorities said. The wreckage of the helicopter was found about 2:45 a.m. Monday.

A routine toxicology test will be conducted to determine whether drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash, though there was no evidence found to suggest that was the case, authorities said.

Results from the test are expected to be complete in four to six weeks.

The Mini 500 helicopter Burson was flying was 22 1/2 feet long and weighed 840 pounds.

It was powered by a 67-horsepower engine capable of a top speed of 115 mph and a maximum flight duration of three hours.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the accident.

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