Director John Driftmier dies in Kenyan plane crash

The Ottawa-based director and cameraman (pictured) was filming the doc series Dangerous Flights for Discovery Canada when the small plane he was in crashed Sunday morning (February 24), killing him and its pilot.
February 25, 2013

An apparent accidental plane death has claimed the life of veteran Canadian factual TV director/DOP John Driftmier, at the age of 30.

A statement issued by Montreal-based producer Pixcom on Sunday (February 24) said Driftmier was in Kenya filming the documentary series Dangerous Flights for Discovery Canada when the small plane he was in crashed Sunday morning, killing him and its pilot.

The series from Pixcom was in principal production on its second season.

“This is a terribly sad day for all of us,” said Paul Lewis, president and general manager of Discovery Canada, in a statement. “The Canadian production community has lost a bright and rising star. His talents will be missed and we share our deepest sympathies for his wife, family, friends and colleagues.”

Dangerous Flights chronicles a company of ferry pilots delivering small, private planes around the world. Driftmier as a director and cameraman specialized in factual television.

His numerous credits included several Discovery Canada series, including Highway Thru Hell, which follows a heavy towing rescue team removing semi truck wreckage from the winter highways of British Columbia, and Licence to Drill, about northern oil exploration.

Driftmier is survived by his wife and parents.


Photo via John Driftmier’s website

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty