Heavy Hearts Across The Charlotte Area After Chopper Crash Kills 2

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Grief and heartache being felt across the Charlotte area, after two WBTV employees died in a helicopter crash Tuesday afternoon. It happened around noon off of I-77 south near Tyvola and Nations Ford Roads. That crash shutdown the southbound lanes for most of the day.

The victims have been identified as pilot Chip Tayag, who joined the station in 2017, and had been a pilot for more than 20 years, and meteorologist Jason Myers, who joined the station in 2019. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings, hailing Tayag a hero. Jennings says that Tayag made moves to avoid hitting traffic. Jennings says, “It seems the pilot that was operating the aircraft made some diversionary moves to avoid traffic. Fortunately, there was no vehicles involved in it. As we move forward, to me it looks like a heroic incident where the pilot tried to avoid injuring anyone else. And putting anyone else in danger.”

Witnesses who saw that aircraft go down told us what happened. Kayce Osborne says, “I was talking to some classmates and I seen (sic) it go over the side of the building above us. And it was nose diving to the ground and I just took off running.” She also says, “For some odd reason in my heart, I feel like that pilot was trying to avoid hurting other people. He missed this building, he missed our parking lot and he literally missed I(77) by a hair.”

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. WBTV released a statement, saying “The WBTV family is grieving a terrible loss. Our news helicopter Sky3 crashed late Tuesday morning with two of our colleagues on board. Meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag lost their lives. We are working to comfort their families in this difficult time. We appreciate the outpouring of support for our staff and your continued prayers for their families.”

This episode features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB News @ Ten anchor Gary Brode