Two WBTV Charlotte Staffers Die in Helicopter Crash

A screengrab from a WBTV Charlotte segment on pilot Chip Tayag and meteorologist Jason Myers, who died in a helicopter crash on Tuesday.
A screengrab from a WBTV Charlotte segment on pilot Chip Tayag and meteorologist Jason Myers, who died in a helicopter crash on Tuesday. (Image credit: WBTV Charlotte)

A helicopter pilot and a meteorologist at WBTV Charlotte died in a helicopter crash around noon on November 22 in Charlotte. The pilot is Chip Tayag and the meteorologist is Jason Myers. The crash happened just off Interstate 77. 

“The WBTV family is grieving a terrible loss,” the station said in a statement (opens in new tab). “Our news helicopter Sky3 crashed mid-day Tuesday 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.” 

The lanes of the highway are closed at presstime. Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to arrive in Charlotte to look into the crash, according to the Charlotte Observer (opens in new tab)

The cause of the crash has not been divulged. 

Myers grew up in Charlotte and previously worked at WRIC Richmond and WTVQ Lexington. He was the father of four. 

Tayag had been a pilot for 20 years. The helicopter that crashed is a 1999 Robinson R44.

WCNC Charlotte reported that the pilot, knowing the helicopter was in trouble, looked for a safe spot to land, and was able to land just off the highway, avoiding road traffic. An eyewitness called him a hero. 

WBTV is owned by Gray Television. 

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement, “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." ■

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.