Reality TV Show Helicopter Crash Kills 3 During California Filming

Monday, 11 Feb 2013 04:02 PM

By Michael Mullins

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A helicopter crashed Sunday at a well-known California movie ranch outside Los Angeles, killing all three occupants.

Authorities have yet to release the names of the victims, which include the pilot and two passengers.

The incident occurred at the Polsa Rosa Movie Ranch in Acton, Calif., a 700-plus acre facility about 30 miles north of Los Angeles. The ranch, which boasts two airstrips, miles of road and "the most widely varied terrain and landscapes found in the zone," is used in both television and movie production including "Windtalkers" and last year's remake of "Red Dawn."

The incident involved a Bell 206 JetRanger helicopter and occurred around 3:30 a.m. PST over mountainous terrain. Ranch supervisors and members of the production crew refused to release details to the media as they left the site.

Steve Hurd, an employee at the ranch, told NBC News that the helicopter involved in the crash was being used to film a military reality-television show.

Hurd added that one of the victims was apparently an actor; however he was "not a well-known name.”

According to the Associated Press, the show was a Discovery Channel production.

"A production company was shooting a show for Discovery Channel when this tragic accident occurred. We are all cooperating fully with authorities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families," Discovery Channel spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg said in a statement.

Philip Sokoloski, a spokesman for FilmLA, a company that processes filming permits for location shootings in the Los Angeles region, confirmed that Discovery was approved to use the helicopter at the ranch at the time.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Allen Kenitzer told AP that the crash is still being investigated and the cause and other circumstances of the incident have yet to be determined.

This past September, a 48-year-old man died of an apparent heart attack while holding his breath underwater at the ranch during the filming of actor Johnny Depp's upcoming film "The Lone Ranger."

The crash on Sunday was also only 25 miles from where actor Vic Morrow was killed, with two children, in a helicopter crash during the filming of the "Twilight Zone" movie in 1982.

Producer John Landis and four production crew members were charged with involuntary manslaughter after the 1982 crash. All five individuals were eventually acquitted.

Related Stories:

Helicopter Crashes in Central London During Rush Hour; 2 Killed

Paraguayan Presidential Candidate Dies in Helicopter Crash

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