Helicopter crash at California 'movie ranch' kills 3 while filming for Discovery Channel

Worst film set accident since 1982

Authorities say three people were killed in a pre-dawn helicopter crash in a rural area of northern Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles County Fire dispatcher Robert Diaz says the crash occurred about 3:40 a.m. Sunday at the 730-acre Polsa Rosa Ranch in Acton.

The crash  occurred during production of a reality TV show called "Untitled Military Project" for the Discovery Channel, according to a permit filed with FilmL.A. Inc.,

Philip Sokoloski, a spokesman for FilmL.A., said  a production company had been approved to use a helicopter for a reality TV show. The shoot was scheduled to go from Saturday afternoon into Saturday night.

Records also show Crossbow Helicopters received approval to participate in filming from the Federal Aviation Administration.

A statement by Eyeworks USA said: "We can confirm that a helicopter crash occurred this morning while shooting a new series for a cable network, which resulted tragically in three fatalities. We are cooperating fully with the authorities. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those involved."

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

According to its website, Polsa Rosa is a "movie ranch" where film crews can utilize a variety of terrains as well as two airstrips. The ranch, according to the Internet Movie Database, was used in "Windtalkers" and last year's remake of "Red Dawn."

This is the worst film set accident in California since actor Vic Morrow and 2 child actors died in 1982 when a helicopter crashed into them while filming for "The Movie: Twilight Zone."