A Helicopter Crashed Near I-77 in South Charlotte: Jason Myers, a meteorologist for WBTV, and Chip Tayag, a pilot for Sky3, were both killed when their helicopter went down in the southbound lanes of Interstate 77 in south Charlotte.
South of Charlotte, a Helicopter Crashed Near Interstate 77
In a helicopter disaster that occurred on Tuesday at noon in south Charlotte, two workers of a Charlotte television station lost their lives. The incident took place close to the interchange of Interstate 77 and Nations Ford Road. Two persons were declared dead at the site, according to MEDIC. Around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, WBTV issued a statement confirming that the aircraft in question belonged to the station.
“Everyone here at WBTV is devastated by the news. On Tuesday at around noon, WBTV released a statement saying that their news helicopter Sky3 had crashed, killing both crew members aboard. Jason Myers, a meteorologist, and Chip Tayag, a pilot, were killed in a tragic accident. We’re doing everything we can to bring some solace to their loved ones at this time. We are grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for our employees and their loved ones.
A Robinson R44 helicopter went down at I-77 South and Nations Ford Road in Charlotte, North Carolina, at around 12:20 p.m. today, according to a statement issued by the FAA. There were two passengers. This will be looked at by the FAA and the NTSB. As the inquiry progresses, the NTSB will provide further information. No one involved in an airplane crash is ever identified by either organization.
Captain Major Johnny Jennings of the Central Metropolitan Police Department called the pilot a hero. “It seems the pilot flying the aircraft attempted some diverting maneuvers to avoid impacting traffic,” Jennings added. The accident was witnessed by Carolyn Russ, who was traveling down Interstate 77 at the time. The aircraft crashed next to her, as she reported to Channel 9. After observing the helicopter’s erratic flight pattern, Russ told Channel 9 that he was certain the craft would soon crash.
“It started performing a nosedive and turned about and started coming north and it just slammed into the ground right on the side of the highway right next to my car,” Russ explained. Bridget-Ann Hampden, who saw the crash, said that it was “eerily silent” and that there was no smoke or flames. It seemed, she continued, that the pilot had veered off the main highway. He landed at a place that was not on the highway, and that’s why I think he took a detour on purpose. I’d say he was probably little more than five feet away from the lane I was in,” Hampden added.
The pilot, according to Hampden, is a hero. For all I know, he may have saved my life,” Hampden remarked of the man. Simply said, I can’t say for certain what would have happened otherwise. We were practically touching. Russ expressed her condolences to WBTV staff members Tayag and Myers’ families. Russ said, “Tell the people you love that you love them while you still can.”
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The NTSB estimated that their preliminary report would be available in four to six weeks, but the full study may take anywhere from 12 to 24 months to complete. According to an NTSB representative, an investigator was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday night and remain on the scene until Wednesday morning. The debris will be gathered and sent elsewhere for further study. The Robinson R-44 was the make and model of the chopper. Bryan Burns, president of the Air Charter Safety Foundation, was interviewed by Channel 9 to discuss the plane.
Burns remarked that the aircraft was “extremely airworthy, very sturdy,” and that it was normally used by flying schools to help people obtain their helicopter licenses. The probable cause of the crash and any contributing variables will be included in the NTSB’s final report. There wasn’t much wind or precipitation when the accident occurred.
That might not even matter, according to ABC News’s aviation expert Jim Nance. As Nance put it, “simply because it’s clear skies overhead doesn’t give me the entire narrative” since helicopters are so sensitive to wind. They are “very safe,” he claimed of helicopters. In contrast, “when anything goes wrong, because it’s a helicopter, our attention is captivated on what happened,” Nance added.