Three Killed in Helicopter Crash While Filming Reality TV Show

Pilot, crewmember and cast member killed in Bell 206 accident.

Three men were killed early Sunday morning while flying in a Bell 206 being used to shoot a reality TV show for the Discovery Channel.

The crash occurred at the Polsa Rosa Ranch in northern Los Angeles County — a frequent location for film production — under unknown circumstances, according to FAA officials.

Pilot David Gibbs, 59, crewmember Darren Rydstrom, 45, and cast member Michael Donatelli, 45, perished in the accident. The men were working on a military-themed reality TV show around 3:30 a.m. when the accident occurred and had been given approval to film a landing and takeoff at the ranch between Saturday evening and early Sunday morning.

Gibbs was an experienced helicopter pilot whose work included production for Jurassic Park, The Jackal and other Hollywood blockbusters.

Sunday's crash constitutes the most deadly on-set crash in California in more than three decades.