A plane crash on the Columbia set of a new Tom Cruise movie ended in the deaths of two crew members earlier this month.
The Los Angeles Times reports that on September 11, a small plane being used to transport crew members during the filming of “Mena” in near Bogota, Colombia, went down in bad weather just after filming wrapped. Tom Cruise, a trained pilot, was not on the plane.
The movie is about a TWA pilot who was employed by the drug lord Pablo Escobar. Stunt pilot Alan D. Purwin was killed in the crash, as well as a member of the Colombian crew, Carlos Brel. The sole survivor of the wreck, Jimmy Lee Garland, was injured and is in critical condition.
Alan Purwin was viewed as a noted philanthropist and a pioneer in his field and founded a company called Shotover Camera Systems which specialized in developing high-performance aerial cameras. Company Chief Executive Steve Gardena said, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our heroic founder.… Alan was both a pioneer in the film industry and a committed philanthropist. His legacy includes many feats, such as conducting the first vital organ transplant mission in Los Angeles, supporting the first response rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and being the only American Hollywood movie pilot to fly throughout the People’s Republic of China.” Purwin worked on a number of blockbuster movies recently, including “Transformers,” “Pearl Harbor,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
According to an NBC News article, the twin-engine plane had just left the town of Santa Fe de Antioquia for a short flight when it ran into bad weather. Air traffic controllers did not report any know emergencies. It is believed that the Piper Aerostar-600 may be the same plane Tom Cruise was photographed exiting when he arrived in Medellin, Colombia in August to start filming “Mena”.
Though it is believed that inclement weather likely caused this fatal aviation accident, the crash will still be thoroughly investigated. In some cases, multiple factors can contribute to a plane crash and it is important to determine whether mechanical issues or other problems played a role in this tragic accident.
If you or someone you love suffered a serious injury or even death in a plane crash and you believe negligence may have been involved, an experienced aviation accident attorney can help you investigate the incident and hold negligent parties accountable. For a free legal consultation, please contact us today.