Two dead in helicopter crash near Interstate 77 in south Charlotte – WSOC TV

CHARLOTTE – Two employees of a Charlotte television station died in a helicopter crash Tuesday afternoon south of Charlotte.

The crash happened near Interstate 77 at Nations Ford Road. MEDIC confirmed that two people were pronounced dead at the scene.

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At around 3pm on Tuesday, WBTV released a statement confirming that it was the station’s helicopter that was involved in the crash.

“The WBTV family is saddened by this terrible loss. Our Sky3 news helicopter crashed in broad daylight on Tuesday with two of our colleagues on board,” WBTV said in a statement. “Meteorologist Jason Myers and the pilot Chip Tayag lost their lives. We are working to comfort their families during this difficult time. We appreciate the support of our staff and your continued prayers for their families.”

The FAA released a statement on Tuesday about the accident: “A Robinson R44 helicopter crashed near I-77 South and Nations Ford Road in Charlotte, NC, at approximately 12:20 local time today . Two people were on board. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will oversee the investigation and will provide further updates. No agency has identified those involved in the crash. .”

CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said the pilot is a hero in his eyes.

“It appears that the pilot who was flying the plane took different actions to avoid hitting traffic,” Jennings said.

Investigators remained in the area through the night and some lanes of I-77 were reopened.

‘That helicopter is going to crash’: Witnesses recount the moment investigators sifted through evidence

Carolyn Russ was driving on Interstate 77 when she saw the accident. He told Channel 9 that the helicopter landed next to him.

“It was flying in the opposite direction… and I knew right away that the helicopter was going to crash,” Russ told Channel 9.

“It started screeching and turned around and started going north, and it hit the ground right on the side of the highway next to my car,” Russ added.

Witness Bridget-Ann Hampden said there was no smoke or fire, and the crash was “remarkably quiet.”

He said the pilot appeared to be veering away from the crowded area.

I feel like he deliberately veered off the highway because he didn’t reach the ground. “He wasn’t more than five feet from where I was,” Hampden said.

Hampden said the pilot was a hero.

“Actually, he might have saved my life,” Hampden said. “Because I don’t really know what would have happened, you know? He was very close to me.”

Russ said his heart goes out to the Tayag and Myers families and their WBTV family.

“If you have people you love, tell them you love them while you can,” Russ said.

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Channel 9 has learned that the Charlotte Regional Office of Flight Standards and the FAA began investigating the crash site on Tuesday. The local FAA is responsible for reviewing the aircraft’s other safety features, including flight history, flight training, and any audio recordings. The NTSB, on the other hand, will be a “recommendation authority,” meaning they will come in and determine what the cause of the crash might have been.

The NTSB said the first report could come out within four to six weeks, but the final report could take 12-24 months to be released.

An NTSB investigator was expected to arrive Tuesday night and work through Wednesday morning, an agency spokeswoman said.

The debris will be recovered and taken to another location for further analysis.

The helicopter was a Robinson R-44. Channel 9 asked Bryan Burns, president of the Air Charter Safety Foundation, about the plane itself.

“It’s an airworthy, very solid training aircraft, usually for flight schools where people are trying to get their helicopter license,” Burns said.

The NTSB’s final report will likely contain the probable cause of the crash, as well as any contributing factors.

The sky was clear and conditions were relatively calm when the accident happened.

ABC News aviation expert Jim Nance says that may not matter.

“Helicopters are very affected by the wind, so just because the sky is clear above, doesn’t tell me the whole story,” Nance said.

He said helicopters are “very safe.”

“But when something goes wrong, because it’s a helicopter, our focus is on what happened,” Nance said.

This is an ongoing story. See also wsoctv.com for updates.

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