A Piper Aerostar used in the Tom Cruise film “Mena” crashed near Medellin, Colombia, on Friday, killing two and leaving one in critical condition.
The U.S. embassy confirmed the crash Sunday, but did not release the names of the occupants. However, local reports say the victims of the deadly crash were veteran Hollywood pilot Alan Purwin and cameraman Carlos Berl. The pilot, Jimmy Lee Garland, survived the crash and is being treated for severe injuries at Medellin hospital.
Purwin, who worked on films such as “Pearl Harbor,” “Transformers” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” was an experienced helicopter pilot for Hollywood films.
On Saturday, Ben Stiller posted to Twitter, “Shocked about the loss of #AlanPurwin. One of the best people I knew and the greatest pilots ever. I put my life in his hands many times.”
A spokesperson for Universal confirmed in a statement, “An aircraft carrying crew members crashed while returning to Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport in Medellin following production wrap on the film Mena resulting in two fatalities. Further details are not available at this time. On behalf of the production, our hearts and prayers go out to the crew members and their families at this difficult time.”
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