Ottawa-based director and DOP John Driftmier was killed in a plane crash in Kenya on Sunday, production company Pixcom has confirmed. He was 30. Driftmier was in Kenya shooting aerial sequences for the second season of Dangerous Flights, which airs on Discovery Channel Canada. The action adventure series follows six American pilots “who risk their lives in the high-danger, no-holds-barred, high-stress business of aircraft delivery,” according to the show’s website. Pixcom said the plane in which Driftmier was flying crashed Sunday morning, killing both him and the pilot. Driftmier’s other credits included Discovery series Highway Thru Hell and License To Drill. Paul Lewis, president of Discovery Canada, said: “This is a day of great sadness for us all. The Canadian production community has lost a brilliant young man who had the promise of a big future. We will miss his many talents.” Driftmier is survived by his wife and his parents.
Sunday’s fatal plane crash comes two weeks after a deadly helicopter crash in Southern California that occurred during filming of a new reality TV series, also for the Discovery Channel. Pilot David Gibbs, 59, of Valencia; cameraman Darren Rydstrom, 45, of Whittier; and cast member Michael Donatelli, 45, of Indiana, PA were killed when the chopper crashed in an open field as they were shooting scenes for the untitled military show. A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report says the craft suddenly pitched down and hit the ground about a minute after taking off before dawn on February 10.