Three people died Sunday in an early-morning helicopter crash while taking part in the filming of a reality TV show in a rural area of northern Los Angeles County, officials said.
Los Angeles County Fire dispatcher Robert Diaz says the crash occurred about 3:40 a.m. Sunday at the Polsa Rosa Ranch in Acton. Diaz says everyone on board died.
"The helicopter, a Bell 206B Jet Ranger, crashed under unknown circumstances," Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.
The three occupants, all men who appeared to be in their mid-40s, were thrown from the helicopter in the crash and pronounced dead at the scene, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Martin Smith said.
Their names were not released Sunday pending positive identification.
"The helicopter crashed into an open field," Smith said. No injuries or damage were reported on the ground, and the crash did not result in a fire.
"They did have camera equipment on board the helicopter, and there were ground cameras nearby," Smith said, adding that he did not believe filming was taking place at the time of the crash.
According to a permit filed with FilmL.A. Inc., the production company was filming a reality show involving the military on the ranch. Filming involving the use of a helicopter began Saturday.
The permit indicated the production company is Redondo Beach-based company Bongo Inc.
The productions assistant location director, Jessica Altman, said she had no information regarding the incident due to the ongoing investigation and poor cell phone reception near the scene of the crash that was hindering the flow of information.
The helicopter was being operated by Valencia-based Crossbow Helicopters Inc., according to permit documents. The helicopter company also could not be reached for comment.
The helicopter was "substantially damaged" in the crash, Kenitzer said.
The FAA and National Traffic Safety Board are investigating the crash, with the NTSB spearheading the investigation, Kenizter said.
A preliminary report is generally published on the NTSB's website within a week or two of an incident. The probable cause of the crash often takes several months to determine.