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Pilot’s license suspended twice in past 10 years

Posted: February 19, 2013 6:29 p.m.
Updated: February 19, 2013 6:29 p.m.

A veteran Hollywood stunt helicopter pilot killed in a chopper crash in Acton earlier this month had his flying license suspended twice in the last 10 years, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said Tuesday.

David Gene Gibbs, 59, of Valencia, with movie and TV credits stretching back more than 20 years, had his pilot license suspended for a month in 2003 for operating a helicopter in a careless and reckless manner, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor confirmed.

In 2007, Gibbs’ license was suspended again, this time for 45 days, for failing to communicate with air traffic controllers.

Gibbs was the owner of Crossbow Helicopters Inc., based in Valencia.

On Feb. 10, he and two others — Darren Arthur Rydstrom, 46, of Whittier, and Michael William Donatelli, 45, of Indiana, Pa. — were killed in a helicopter crash in Acton during the filming of a new military-based reality TV show for the Discovery Channel.

The copter crashed at Polsa Rosa Ranch, located on Soledad Canyon Road between Acton and Agua Dulce.
Gibbs’ Crossbow Helicopters on Arroyo Park Drive provided helicopters and fixed-wing aerial support for the motion picture and television industries.

His movie and TV credits include more than a dozen productions featuring him as a helicopter pilot. They include “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and “The Jackal” with Bruce Willis.

The Feb. 10 crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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