Tom Cruise Partially Blamed for Film Set Crash That Killed Two People

Lawrence Kim
September 22, 2017

In September 2015, Purwin and Berl along with a third pilot Jimmy Lee Garland crashed their twin-engine Piper Smith Aerostar 600 into the mountains in Colombia while shooting for the movie.

The estates of pilots Alan Purwin (left) and Carlos Berl, who died during a 2015 plane crash while filming "American Made", claim in a lawsuit that Tom Cruise and director Doug Liman are partially to blame. They also claimed that the "enthusiasm for multiple takes of lavish flying sequences" by Cruise and Liman was a contributory factor to the deadly on-set crash that occurred in Colombia.

"Lapses in planning, coordinating, scheduling, and flight safety that were the Defendants' responsibility resulted in an unqualified and unprepared pilot being pressed into service for a unsafe flight in a vintage aircraft across an unfamiliar mountain pass in bad weather", the documents state, according to People. There's a very "thin line" between keeping all aerial activities safe and having an accident.

In one excerpt, an executive producer allegedly wrote to one of the insurance companies that Liman and Cruise were "adding entire scenes and aerial shots on the fly".

The documents also contain an email Purwin sent to that same executive producer in which he called the film "the most risky project I've ever encountered" and added it "took every ounce of skill I had to insure TC, (cinematographer) Cesar (Charlone) and I wouldn't be coming home in a box". "Trust me on this!"

Cruise and Liman are not named in the suit against production companies Imagine Entertainment, Vendian Entertainment and Cross Creek Pictures, said People magazine, which examined the documents obtained by TheBlast.

What's more, they argue Tom "a well-qualified pilot very familiar with the Aerostar and the routing" could have flown the plane himself.

"They were incredible about safety from everything that I saw", Olsen, 33, tells PEOPLE.

The movie, out September 29, tells the story of Barry Seal, the real-life American pilot who smuggled drugs for Pablo Escobar and his cartel. "In the last 48 hours this has become the most insane s- I've ever dealt with", the complaint reads, according to the lawsuit.

The family of Carlos Berl, who is also suing the survivor, claimed that Garland was the pilot.

Cruise did not immediately return a request for comment.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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