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Helicopter Accident In California Fatally Injures Reality TV Crew

Series Focusing On The Military Being Developed By The Discover Channel

A Bell 206 JetRanger went down Sunday in southern California resulting in the fatal injury of all three people on board the aircraft. The helo was participating in the filming of a reality television show being developed by The Discovery Channel.

The accident occurred about 0330 PST Sunday morning at the Polsa Rosa Movie Ranch north of Los Angeles. The FAA and the NTSB confirmed the accident, but have no indication about what might have caused the helicopter to go down. The location is often used by television and film production crews.

The series has not yet been titled, but FilmL.A., which had issued the permit for the flight, described the show as a "military project."  The New York Times reports that the company requesting the permit was Bongo Inc, which is owned by Eyeworks, USA. Eyeworks was formerly called 3 Ball Productions, which produced the Discovery channel show "Flying Wild Alaska."

Some industry insiders say that the accident could raise questions about how reality television shows are produced. Bongo had received a permit to use the helicopter to shoot at the ranch from 1700 PDT Saturday to 0700 Sunday, with a filming plan submitted by the pilot that would have narrowed that window to 1600 to 2200 Saturday.

(Bell 206 image from file)

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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