Around noon on Tuesday in south Charlotte, a helicopter crashed, killing two employees of a local television station. At Nations Ford Road, close to Interstate 77, the collision happened. Two persons were pronounced dead at the site, according to MEDIC.
Tuesday about 3 p.m., WBTV issued a statement confirming that the collision involved the station’s helicopter.
“There has been a tremendous loss for the WBTV family. Tuesday afternoon, our news chopper Sky3 crashed with two of our colleagues aboard, according to a statement from WBTV.
“Both pilot Chip Tayag and meteorologist Jason Myers died. We are working to provide support for their families during this trying time. We value your continuous prayers for the families of our staff members as well as the outpouring of support for them.
A Robinson R44 helicopter crashed near I-77 South and Nations Ford Road in Charlotte, North Carolina, at around 12:20 local time on Tuesday, according to a statement from the FAA.
There were two passengers. The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA will conduct an investigation. The probe will be overseen by the NTSB, which will also offer more updates. Involved parties in aviation accidents are not identified by any agency.
The pilot, according to CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings, is a hero in his view.
This is a terrible tragedy for the WBTV family and we are praying for them and all of those in the media who work so hard to keep the public informed. – RC https://t.co/iVK6pgXLvX
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) November 22, 2022
According to Jennings, “it appears the pilot who was in control of the aircraft performed some evasive maneuvers to avoid impacting traffic.”
Some I-77 lanes were reopened while investigators stayed at the scene far into the night.
While traveling on I-77, Carolyn Russ witnessed the collision take place. She told Channel 9 that the helicopter crashed next to her.
Russ told Channel 9 that the helicopter was “flying kind of side to side” and “I knew instantly the aircraft is going to crash.”
It proceeded to nosedive, then turned about and started heading north before crashing into the ground just next to my car on the side of the road.
Bridget-Ann Hampden, a witness, reported that the wreck was “eerily silent” and that there was no smoke or flames. According to her, it seemed like the pilot made a detour off the busy freeway.
“When he landed, I had a strong suspicion that he intentionally left the road. He was only a few feet away from the lane I was in, according to Hampden.
The pilot, according to Hampden, was a hero.
Our thoughts are with our friends at WBTV on the loss of Jason Myers and Chip Tayag.
We will have a moment of silence at tonight’s Tree Lighting in their honor 💙
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 22, 2022
Hampden replied, “Quite true, he might have saved my life.” “Because, you know, I’m not sure what would have happened. He and I were extremely close.
Russ expressed her condolences to the Tayag and Myers families as well as their WBTV family.
Tell the people you care about how you feel about them right away, Russ said.
The Charlotte Flight Standards District Office of the FAA reportedly started scouring the crash site on Tuesday, according to Channel 9. The local FAA is responsible for investigating this flight’s additional safety requirements, such as the flight log, the pilot’s qualifications, and any audio recordings.
The NTSB, on the other hand, will act as a “recommending authority,” which means they will investigate and identify the crash’s most likely cause.
The NTSB stated that a preliminary report might be available in four to six weeks, while the release of the final report might take 12 to 24 months.
According to a representative for the NTSB, an investigator was scheduled to come Tuesday night and work until Wednesday morning.
The wreckage will be retrieved and sent for additional examination off-site.
It was a Robinson R-44 helicopter. Bryan Burns, the head of the Air Charter Safety Foundation, was questioned by Channel 9 regarding the actual aircraft.
It’s a very airworthy, extremely reliable training aircraft that is frequently used by flight schools where people are attempting to obtain their helicopter license, according to Burns.
The probable cause of the crash and any contributing circumstances will most likely be included in the NTSB’s final report.
At the time of the accident, the sky was clear, and the atmosphere was quiet.
Jim Nance, an aviation expert for ABC News, indicated that it might not matter.
Nance replied, “Clear skies overhead don’t tell me the complete story. Helicopters are very much affected by wind.
Helicopters, he claimed, are “very safe.”
However, Nance noted, “since it’s a helicopter when something goes wrong, our focus is fixed on what happened.”