Fatal Discovery Channel Helicopter Crash Sparks Concerns Over Reality TV Safety
A helicopter crash in Los Angeles has sparked concerns over the safety of reality TV crews’ filming conditions. Three people, including the pilot and a cast member, died in the crash at the Polsa Rosa Ranch in Los Angeles, whilst filming the series Untitled Military Project. The show’s producers (Eyeworks USA) had clearance to film a helicopter landing and takeoff at the site, between 5pm Saturday, February 9 and 7am Sunday, February 10.
The County Fire Department had assigned an advisor to the site, according to Phil Sokoloski, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA is a non-profit group, which handles filming permits in and around Los Angeles. A spokesperson for Eyeworks USA has declined to comment on the cause of the crash, which happened during filming for the show, due to be aired on the Discovery Channel. This is the second fatality that has taken place in recent months in connection to one of the Discovery Channel’s reality shows. In June, a woman was killed by “errant smoke bombs” during filming of a series set on a Colorado shooting range, Los Angeles Times reports.
State Senator Ted Lieu has ordered his office to investigate, telling the paper “The problem that we've had is that obviously California law can't reach out to other states or foreign countries where a lot of these shows are filmed… If we start getting instances [of accidents] in California, then we need to take steps to make reality TV safer.”