3 Die in Discovery Channel Helicopter Crash

Sunday morning, just outside of L.A.

    Photo: Aaron Escobar/Flickr

Three men died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles early Sunday morning while filming a segment for a military-themed Discovery Channel television show. Pilot David Gibbs, 59, cinematographer Darren Rydstrom, 46, and 45-year-old Michael Donatelli, who is believed to be a former Special Forces officer, were killed.

The helicopter was operated by Eyeworks USA, the unnamed program's production company. It crashed around 3:40 a.m. at Polsa Rosa Ranch, a popular film spot. The Discovery Channel has since released a brief statement: 

A production company was shooting a show for Discovery Channel when this tragic accident occurred. We are all cooperating fully with authorities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families.

Aviation officals are currently investigating the crash.

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