Los Angeles-based film pilot Alan Purwin was killed in an accident in Colombia when a small plane, assigned to the crew of a Tom Cruise-starrer Mena crashed on the set near Medellin (Colombia). Two people were killed in the accident and one person is seriously injured in the accident on Friday, the country's civilian aviation authority has confirmed, reported TMZ.
Two American pilots and a Colombian were aboard the plane. An American, Alan Purwin, and a Colombian, Carlos Berl, were killed in the incident, while a third person in the plane, American pilot Jimmy Lee Garland, was rushed to a hospital in Medellin. Purwin was founder and president of the Los Angeles-based Helinet Technologies, a company providing aerial surveillance technology to law enforcement and government agencies. On the company's website, he's described as "one of the top film pilots of his generation" with a list of credits from television and major Hollywood movies such as Transformers, Pearl Harbor, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Helinet's Vice President Jack Snyder declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.
According to the official, the twin-engine Aerostar ran into bad weather late Friday afternoon after taking off from the colonial town of Santa Fe de Antioquia. Tom Cruise and director Doug Liman were not on the plane.
The actor had reportedly wrapped a scene just prior to the accident. Liman is said to be shaken up over the tragedy. Mena is a movie about Barry Seal, a portly pilot who, in the 1980s, was a 300-pound gun runner, and drug trafficker who transported contraband for the CIA and the Medellin cartel. Production began on May 25 in Georgia, and Cruise arrived in Colombia to film the movie last month.
Cruise, a trained pilot, arrived last month in Colombia to film Mena. His spokeswoman, Amanda Lundberg, were not available for comment.