LOS ANGELES — Three people were killed Sunday in a pre-dawn helicopter crash in a rural area of northern Los Angeles County while filming for a new reality TV show for the Discovery Channel.
The copter crashed at about 3:40 a.m. at the popular filming location of Polsa Rosa Ranch in the city of Acton, Los Angeles County Fire dispatcher Robert Diaz said.
All three people aboard died, Diaz said. Their names weren't immediately released.
The show, listed on a filming permit as an untitled military-theme TV program, had not yet been aired or announced by Discovery, channel spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg said.
"A production company was shooting a show for Discovery Channel when this tragic accident occurred," the station said in a statement. "We are all cooperating fully with authorities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families."
The show's production company, Eyeworks USA, best known for creating NBC's "The Biggest Loser," also issued a statement expressing sympathies to the victim's families and saying they were cooperating with authorities.
The company had been approved to use a helicopter for a reality TV show shooting at the ranch from Saturday afternoon until Sunday morning, said Philip Sokoloski, a spokesman for FilmLA, which processes filming permits for location shootings in the Los Angeles region.
Records also showed Crossbow Helicopters received approval to participate in filming from the Federal Aviation Administration.
"We wouldn't have referenced helicopter activity if we didn't already have pre-approval from the FAA," Sokoloski said.
The cause and other circumstances surrounding the crash are still unknown, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.
Television footage showed mangled wreckage in a rugged canyon area near Soledad Canyon Road.
According to its website, Polsa Rosa is a "movie ranch" where film crews can utilize a variety of terrains as well as two airstrips. The ranch, according to the Internet Movie Database, was used in "Windtalkers" and last year's remake of "Red Dawn."
It was the site of another entertainment industry death in September, when a 48-year-old crew member died of an apparent heart attack while underwater in scuba gear on the set of the upcoming Johnny Depp film "The Lone Ranger"
Sunday's wreck was also just 25 miles from a similar rural spot in Santa Clarita where actor Vic Morrow and two children were killed in another helicopter crash while filming the "Twilight Zone" movie in 1982.
That crash brought changes in production restrictions and led to producer John Landis and four others being charged with involuntary manslaughter. All were acquitted.
Associated Press writer Andrew Dalton in Los Angeles contributed to this report. Tang reported from Phoenix.
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1. Stop Hoarding
OK, so desk clutter may not be <em>killing</em> you, but it certainly is killing your work. In fact, a cluttered workspace can significantly hinder your productivity and mental clarity, according to organizing guru Nancy Castelli, founder of <a href="http://www.balancesf.com/" target="_hplink">Balance</a>. "Clutter is self-inflicted stress," Castelli says. "You waste time looking for something, then waste more time reproducing it because you couldn't find it." Now that only one in 10 people take an actual lunch break, you can bet that desk clutter includes a banana peel or two as well. Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, says a desk has 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. Castelli recommends following a popular organizing acronym: <strong>S</strong>- Sort <strong>P</strong>- Purge <strong>A</strong>- Assign a space <strong>C</strong>- Containerize <strong>E</strong>- Energize
2. Drop The M&Ms
Have you seen the commercial where the unsuspecting office worker takes a bite out of a burger, and the button of his pants busts, shattering the office coffee pot? Don't be that person. Nutritionists generally recommend three meals per day and two snacks from the major food groups. Sadly, Cheetos do not qualify. With fewer people taking a lunch break, and the convenience of vending machines and in-office cafeterias, it's easy to let your diet spin out of control, but eating processed, fatty foods directly contributes to the expansion of your waistline, which significantly increases your risk of developing heart disease and Type II diabetes. By brown-bagging your lunch, you know exactly what's in your food, and you're also limiting your options. While packing a lunch every morning may seem overwhelming, the Mayo Clinic assures that throwing some staples in a bag -- protein, carbs, veggies and snacks like yogurt or berries -- will be more than enough to keep you full and focused during the day.
3. Don't Stress
While stress may seem an ever-present part of your workday, continued stress without any relief can cause adverse body reactions. <a href="http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/effects-of-stress-on-your-body" target="_hplink">According to WebMD</a>, ongoing stress can attribute to headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pains and problems sleeping. Turning to alcohol, drugs or cigarrettes can actually worsen stress instead of relieving it. When work has you in a frenzy, it's best to mentally check out for a few minutes and get some peace and quiet. Beth Shaw, yoga guru and founder of <a href="http://www.yogafit.com/" target="_hplink">Yoga Fit Training Systems</a>, recommends completing some simple breathing exercises and meditation to stabilize your heart rate and refocus. <strong>- Three-part breathing</strong>: Sitting down, inhale one full breath into the belly, chest and throat, then fully exhale. Repeat 10 to 20 times. <strong>- Stress Reduction breathing</strong>: Inhale through the nose, then exhale deeply through the mouth with a sigh, sound or a scream. Shaw says that while this is a great way to encourage laughter and joy (great stress relievers), you may scare your coworkers. "This is best done as a fun group activity," she says. <strong>- Meditation</strong>: Uncross legs and sit up tall, engaging core muscles. Close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths into your belly. Pull shoulders back and down, chest out. Allow any thoughts that come to mind to float away, picturing a blank screen.
4. Straighten Out
While you're sitting slouched over at your desk reading this article, you're contributing to a pool of chronic, long-term ailments -- including arthritis and bursitis -- set off by poor posture and working conditions. While sitting at a desk all day seems safe compared to hard labor, millions of Americans are doing long-term damage to their joints, muscles, tendons and spine by not utilizing a proper work station setup. <a href="http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/tc/office-ergonomics-using-ergonomics-at-the-workstation-to-prevent-injury" target="_hplink">WebMD recommends</a> several adjustments to your workstation, including: keeping your monitor at eye level, resting your feet flat on the ground while sitting, and keeping wrists in a neutral position while typing. However, the biggest culprit of work-related injuries is staying stationary for too long. Try taking three minute breaks, stand up, stretch your arms, legs and neck, and then return to your task.
5. Get Some Sleep
While sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body, most of us do everything in our power to avoid it -- working overtime and having too many late night distractions. <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-05-11/heart-attack-risk-jumps-if-you-work-10-hours-or-more-a-day-u-k-study-says.html" target="_hplink">A study</a> published in the European Heart Journal showed that people who work 10 hours per day or more are 60 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack, angina and death from cardiovascular disease. Sleep deprivation also wreaks havoc on your immune system, memory, mood and metabolism. "After working and being engaged all day, you need time to let your mind relax and prepare for sleep. Watching an hour of an action series or checking email before bed isn't going to help you sleep well," says Lee Loree, creator of the <a href="http://www.sleeptracker.com/" target="_hplink">SleepTracker</a> device, which monitors your sleep cycle and gently wakes you up during light periods of rest as opposed to deeper cycles like REM. "Through evolution, our bodies were conditioned to wake when the sun came up and sleep when the sun went down," Loree says, "but nowadays, people chase the sun and give no time for their brain to slow down."
6. Step Away From The Computer
While researchers have yet to conclusively prove that computers cause permanent eye damage, the unnatural, backlit glare of a computer screen almost certainly causes eye strain. In fact, 50 to 90 percent of computer users report some symptoms of <a href="http://www.aoa.org/x5253.xml" target="_hplink">Computer Vision Syndrome</a>. Some research has even indicated that prolonged exposure to computer screens can increase risk factors of CVS for those with nearsightedness and increase the risk of glaucoma. While many can't escape the reality of staring at a computer screen all day, there are several preventative measures that can help reduce eye strain, headaches and neck soreness caused by overexposure. <strong>-</strong> Install a glare screen on the monitor, or adjust office lighting so there is no glare from overhead lights or windows on the screen. <strong>-</strong> Position the monitor at eye level or just below, at about 20 to 28 inches away from you. Use a stand to hold printed documents at the same level and distance as the screen, as opposed to having to look down at your desk and refocus. <strong>-</strong> Look away from the screen every 20 minutes, and focus on objects that are farther away. <strong>-</strong> Don't be afraid to play with your computer's factory settings for screen brightness, contrast and font size.
7. Walk This Way
<a href="http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/stand-up-while-you-read-this/?hp" target="_hplink">Reality check</a>: No amount of gym time can make up for the eight-plus hours you spend sitting at your desk only moving your eyes and fingers. This heartbreaking realization comes from research by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. In fact, our growing waistlines and deteriorating health is a direct effect of the loss of "active" jobs, according to study author Dr. Timothy Church. Church and Pennington colleague Catrine Tudor-Locke, a specialist in walking, said the minimum amount of steps a person should take in a day is 8,000. In reality, the average office worker logs between 3,000 to 5,000. Sitting is one of the most passive things you can do, and prolonged sitting can increase your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and a variety of cancers. To counter the effects of sedentary work, specialists recommend standing desks and conducting walking meetings. <a href="http://www.gq.com/how-to/rest-of-your-life/201110/office-workplace-health-exercise-posture?currentPage=2" target="_hplink">As told to GQ</a>, Tudor-Locke is a big advocate of treadmill desks, which she uses in her own office. A full desk setup is stationed over a slow moving treadmill, which moves at an easy two mph rate. Tudor-Locke walks an average of three hours, which translates to six miles per day and 2,000 extra calories burned per week. "Don't underestimate the benefits of low-intensity activity," she advises.
8. Drink Up
While the common notion of drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is slightly off from the <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283/" target="_hplink">Institute of Medicine's recommendations</a>, (13 cups for men, nine for women), the health benefits of drinking water are widespread. Every system in your body is reliant on water to help flush out toxins and support healthy cells, and even mild dehydration can cause you to feel tired and less energized, <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283" target="_hplink">according to the Mayo Clinic. </a> While keeping a water jug at your desk is your best bet for adequate (and affordable) intake, food actually accounts for 20 percent of your daily water intake. Snacking on fruits and veggies like tomatoes and watermelon, which are nearly 90 percent water by weight, are a great and tasty source of fluids to keep your bodily systems functioning.