Three Dead in Discovery Reality Show Helicopter Crash
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the fatal crash of a helicopter during filming of an "untitled military project" show in Acton, Calif.
The three victims of the crash were working on an upcoming Discovery channel production, a spokesperson told the New York Times. The newspaper identified the names of those in the crash as helicopter pilot David Gibbs, 59, along with Darren Rydstrom, 45, crew of the show, and Michael Donatelli, 45, cast member.
According to the Desert Sun of Palm Springs, the helicopter -- a Bell 206B Jet Ranger -- was substantially damaged when it crashed at the Polsa Rosa Movie Ranch on 5726 Soledad Canyon Road.
The Los Angeles Film Commission told KCAL-TV that Bongo productions had a permit to shoot in the area. Bongo, as the Times notes, is a subsidiary of Eyeworks USA. A statement posted on the Eyeworks Group's website offers condolences to the victims families and notes that the filmed project was described as a "untitled military project."
"As has been reported, 3 people passed in a helicopter crash while filming a new television reality series with our affiliate Eyeworks USA," the statement read. "We share in our affiliates sympathies for the families and others who are now dealing with this tragedy and send them our warmest regards."
The ranch, which features two airstrips, is offered to rent to production companies for movie, TV show and commercial locations. It is also the location where, as the Los Angeles Times notes, a crew member on the set of Disney's The Lone Ranger died of an apparent drowning.