HomeWorld NewsTV meteorologist, pilot die in U.S. news helicopter crash

TV meteorologist, pilot die in U.S. news helicopter crash

RALEIGH, N.C. –


A helicopter pilot and a meteorologist who labored for a North Carolina tv station died Tuesday when a news helicopter crashed alongside a Charlotte-area interstate, with police praising the pilot for heroically avoiding the roadway in his closing moments.


Meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag had been recognized because the folks killed in the crash in a press release by WBTV — and by coworkers who’d been reporting on the crash stay from the station’s studio.


Fighting again tears, anchors Jamie Boll and Molly Grantham mourned their colleagues whereas offering updates throughout a broadcast that carried on uninterrupted for hours. They included witness stories that Tayag prevented the helicopter from crashing onto Interstate-77 throughout a busy week of vacation journey.


“Jamie and I are learning it here as our newsroom is learning it and trying to figure it out while deeply grieving …,” Grantham mentioned in the course of the broadcast. “We’re giving the news and we’re all — all — of our WBTV family grieving Chip and Jason because we love them.”


The Robinson R44 helicopter crashed shortly after midday native time with two folks on board, the Federal Aviation Administration mentioned in a press release. The Mecklenburg County EMS Agency mentioned the 2 had been pronounced lifeless on the scene.


Police mentioned that no automobiles on the bottom had been concerned in the crash, which nonetheless snarled visitors on the main freeway.


“The pilot is a hero in my eyes,” tweeted Johnny Jennings, chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. “Witnesses indicated that the pilot made diversionary moves away from the highway to save lives. Because of his heroic acts, there were no further injuries or vehicles on the highway involved in the incident.”


The chief additionally informed reporters: “We’re looking at going into the holiday season where we’re supposed to be spending time with our loved ones. And tragically, there are two people involved in this crash that will not be going home and will not be spending the holidays with their family.”


Anchors Boll and Grantham spent at the very least 90 minutes offering stay protection earlier than halting to verify the deaths of Myers and Tayag, having made certain their households had been notified.


“The words are hard to come by folks, we’ve been holding on to this for a while,” Boll mentioned, his voice wavering earlier than he cleared his throat.


Boll had seen Tayag at 11 a.m. Tuesday morning because the pilot sat in the helicopter, getting ready to choose up Myers, the meteorologist.


“Those smiles you see right there on your screen, those are those two people,” Boll mentioned from the anchor desk.


“Every single day in this newsroom, Chip would wave at you say hello, ask you how you’re doing. He’d wave from behind the pilot’s chair of the helicopter,” Boll said. “Jason Myers — I could go on and on. He would bound through this newsroom with incredible energy and smiles and just cared about everybody here.”


Myers was raised in North Carolina’s Union and Catawba counties and labored in town of Raleigh, and in Texas and Virginia earlier than returning to the Charlotte space the place he grew up, WBTV mentioned. He and his spouse Jillian have 4 kids.


Tayag had been a pilot for greater than 20 years, the station mentioned. He started working for WBTV in 2017 and celebrated his three-year marriage ceremony anniversary in August, in keeping with his Instagram web page.


Gov. Roy Cooper provided his condolences to the station and the North Carolina press corps at massive.


“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,” Cooper wrote in a tweet.


The National Transportation Safety Board will lead an investigation into the crash together with the FAA.


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Finley reported from Norfolk, Va.

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