William Bart Colantuono, Ax Men Pilot, Killed in Helicopter Crash

09/18/2013 at 02:00 PM EDT

William Bart Colantuono, Ax Men Pilot, Killed in Helicopter Crash
William Bart Colantuono
History
A pilot killed this week when his helicopter crashed while attempting to lift logs in an Oregon forest has been identified as a former cast member of the History Channel series Ax Men.

Portland TV station KPTV reports William Bart Colantuono appeared on season three of the show. Producers issued a statement of condolences to the family and friends of the 54-year-old from Indialantic, Fla.

The History Channel described Colantuono's role on the reality show as "a smart pilot who isn’t afraid to take risks. He’s been flying for long time and views helicopter logging as a competitive sport. He competes against himself, against the machine and against the weather. At the end of each day, the amount of logs left up on the landing tells him if he’s won or lost. Bart has a lot riding on is shoulders, and he believes he’s ready for the challenge."

Federal investigators are trying to determine the cause of Monday's crash. Witnesses told Linn County deputies the pilot released the logs before crashing, indicating he knew of a problem. Witnesses say they also saw a rotor separate from the copter before it flipped and crashed upside down.

William Bart Colantuono, Ax Men Pilot, Killed in Helicopter Crash| History Channel, The History Channel, Death

The crash site of William Bart Colantuono's helicopter

Linn County Sheriff's Office / AP

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