Helicopter crash kills TV news pilot and meteorologist

A helicopter crash off Interstate 77 in North Carolina killed the WBTV weatherman and pilot. Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Transportation

November 23 (UPI) — A helicopter crash near a North Carolina highway on Tuesday killed the meteorologist and pilot for a Charlotte television station.

WBTV has confirmed the loss of its meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag after the station’s helicopter crashed off Interstate 77 around noon. No vehicle was involved in the accident.

“The WBTV family is mourning a terrible loss. Our Sky3 news helicopter crashed at midday on Tuesday with two of our colleagues on board,” WBTV said in a press release. “We are working to comfort their families during this difficult time. We appreciate the outpouring of support for our staff and your continued prayers for their families.”

The authorities have no information on the causes of the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

Tayag had 20 years of experience as a pilot and had flown the WBTV helicopter for more than 2,000 hours during his five years with the station, with a cumulative total of 3,700 flight hours.

“We’ve always said that if we could replicate Chip and his driving skills, organizational skills and attention to detail, our business would be better off. He always cared about the job he did and made every effort to make all of its passengers comfortable while covering the news in Charlotte,” the station said.

Myers, the meteorologist, had worked for WBTV since 2019 and leaves behind his wife and four children.

After the crash, Charlotte police held a press conference at which the police chief said the helicopter pilot may have turned away at the last minute to avoid hitting traffic .

“If that is truly the case, then this driver is a hero in my eyes for ensuring that the safety and security of those driving on the road are not in danger,” the Charlotte Police Chief said. Mecklenburg, Johnny Jennings.

“Tragically, there are two people who won’t be going home and spending the holidays with their loved ones,” Jennings said. “I ask that we pray for the families.”

A witness to the crash told WCNC he could tell the pilot knew he was in trouble.

“He circled around looking for a place to put it down. And in the second circle, I don’t think he had a choice, he was coming down, and he got it right next to the highway and the ‘avoided,’ the unidentified witness said. . “It could have hurt a lot of people. It’s a tragic thing, but in that sense he did a wonderful job.”

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