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Camerman and pilot die in reality-TV shoot in Kenya

February 25, 2013|By Richard Verrier
  • John Driftmier, cameraman and director who was killed in a plane crash during filming of the TV series "Dangerous Flights" for Discovery Canada. This photo was posted on the website of Pixcom, the show's producer.
John Driftmier, cameraman and director who was killed in a plane crash during… (Pixcom )

A cameraman and pilot died in a plane crash in Kenya during filming of a Discovery series called "Dangerous Flights,'' the latest fatal incident to occur in the reality-TV industry.

John Driftmier, a cameraman and director, was filming aerial footage for the program when the small plane he was in crashed, killing him and the pilot, who was not identified, according to a statement from Pixcom, the Canadian producer of the series.

Driftmier, 30, worked on various reality-TV shows, including "Highway Thru Hell" and "License to Drill."  He was filming the second season of "Dangerous Flights," which is broadcast on Discovery Canada and documents pilots delivering small, private planes around the world.

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"Everyone at Pixcom is in shock,'' Pixcom Chief Executive Jacquelin Bouchard said in a statement posted on the company's website. "John was an incredibly talented director and cameraman, and a wonderful friend. We will miss him terribly.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this very sad time."

Paul Lewis, general manager for Discovery Canada, added: "The Canadian production community has lost a bright and shining star."

The incident comes a few weeks after a pilot, crew member and cameraman were killed during a helicopter crash in Acton in northern Los Angeles County during filming of another Discovery Channel series called "Untitled Military Project." The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

In June, a woman was killed by errant smoke bombs during filming of a pilot for a proposed Discovery Channel series set at a shooting range in Colorado, The Times reported earlier this year in a story about safety problems on reality-TV sets.

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