Tragedy happened early Sunday morning, while shooting a reality show for Discovery Channel. A helicopter crashed in California killing three people onboard.
The victims were helicopter pilot David Gibbs, 59, cameraman Darren Rydstrom, 45, Michael Donatelli, 45 and a castmember.
The military show is being produced for the Discovery Channel which issued the following statement
“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.” And the reality TV show’s producer Eyeworks USA just said: “We can confirm that a helicopter crash occurred this morning while shooting a new series for a cable network which resulted tragically in three fatalities. We are cooperating fully with the authorities. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those involved.”
Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said the crash happened around 3:40 AM at Polsa Rosa Ranch. The men were thrown from the helicopter and pronounced dead on the scene.
A filming permit lists the show as untitled military-theme TV program and had just begun filming on Saturday.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash. A preliminary report is generally published on the NTSB’s website within a week or two of an incident. The probable cause of the crash often takes several months to determine.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims.