Deadly Plane Crash on Tom Cruise Movie Shoot Raises Safety Questions

After two men were killed, lawsuits abound, and blame is being cast in every direction.

August 5, 2017 5:00 am
Tom Cruise Movie Shoot Marred by Deadly Plane Crash
Tom Cruise attends 'The Mummy' Fan Event at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on June 6, 2017 in New York City. (Donna Ward/WireImage)

What happened during the filming of Tom Cruise’s latest movie, American Made, which hits theaters on Sept. 29, sounds like the opening scene of a horror movie.

As The Hollywood Reporter explains, on September 11, 2015, a small plane carrying a trio of aviation experts, who were connected to the production, crashed in the jungles of Colombia, leaving two dead and one badly injured.

Ironically, the movie itself involves a drug-smuggler-turned-CIA-pilot played by Cruise, who has to deal with flying a small plane through treacherous conditions.

At present, the families of the two dead men are suing the production companies for wrongful death, citing that in “a rush to wrap up filming and save money, production and aviation companies ignored basic safety considerations.” The families of the deceased are also suing each other, and one of them is suing the survivor. Even the producers’ insurance company has filed suit in order to avoid paying the $50 million policy, maintaining that the fatal flight was chartered illegally.

Deadly Airplane Crash on Tom Cruise Movie Shoot Raises Questions
View of the wreckage of a Piper PA-60 Aerostar twin-engine aircraft that crashed on September 12, 2015 near San Pedro de los Milagros, Colombia, killing two and injuring another from a Tom Cruise film crew. (Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images)

Clearly, there are a tangle of answers that have yet to be answered in the fatal accident.

According to THR, at least one of the men on the flight, Alan Purwin, a Hollywood stunt pilot, had been in the crosshairs of the FAA for years, after himself being part of (and surviving) a fatal accident in the ’90s. Purwin, this time, didn’t make it. Here’s THR: “Three people in the Hollywood flying community say in interviews that Purwin had been placed into what a group of pilots casually referred to as a ‘death pool,’ a group of risk-taking pilots who were deemed to be the next ones most likely to perish in a crash.”

An aviation expert has even referred to the plane they were flying as a “Death Star,” because it’s so difficult to fly.


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