Director James Cameron is paying tribute to two of his talented colleagues, killed in a helicopter crash in eastern Australia.

FOX News Radio's Leslie Yeomans has the latest from Australia:

Award-winning cinematographer Mike deGruy and his Australian friend, producer Andrew Wight, died when the chopper Wight was piloting crashed shortly after taking off from a small airfield south of Sydney.  The pair had been heading out to scout for locations for a new film.

deGruy, from Santa Barbara, had won many awards for his work.  Wight was a producer and writer, and came to be known as James Cameron's "right-hand man."  Reacting to the deaths of his friends, Cameron said, "Mike and Andrew were like family to me, and their deaths are a tremendous loss for the world of underwater exploration, conservation and filmmaking."

In Australia, Leslie Yeomans, FOX News Radio.