By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
All three men on board died when a Bell 206 helicopter crashed during filming for a Discovery Channel reality show near Los Angeles on Sunday. The crew was working with Eyeworks USA, a production company, on a new, unnamed series with a military theme. The incident is the worst film-set accident in California since 1982, when actor Vic Morrow and two child actors were killed when a helicopter crashed into them, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times said it found in a recent investigative report that some reality-TV productions have cut corners on safety, and this weekend's accident may bring more scrutiny to the industry.
The 1982 crash, during the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie, was caused by a special-effects explosion that damaged the tail rotor of the Bell UH-1B helicopter, causing the pilot to lose control, the NTSB found. The safety board is investigating Sunday's crash. Local officials identified the three men as David Gibbs, 59, of Valencia, Calif., who was the pilot; Michael Donatelli, 45, of Pennsylvania; and Darren Rydstrom, 46, of Whittier.