Chip Tayag: ‘Hero’ WBTV pilot made last-second swerve to stop helicopter crashing into highway

'He circled looking for a place to put that down. And on the second circle, I don't think he had any choice,' said a witness

Chip Tayag: ‘Hero’ WBTV pilot made last-second swerve to stop helicopter crashing into highway
Helicopter pilot Chip Tayag died in a crash near Charlotte highway ( Chirag Tayag/LinkedIn, TikTok/LockharTVMedia)
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CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA: A witness of the Charlotte plane crash on Tuesday, November 22, explains how Chip Tayag, Sky3 pilot, saved the passengers' lives. "My impression is that he apparently knew he was in trouble. He circled, looking for a place to put that down."

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He said to WCNC, "And on the second circle, I don't think he had any choice, it was going down, and he got it just off the highway and avoided it. That could've injured a lot of people. It's a tragic thing, but in that sense, he did a marvelous job." WBTV chopper pilot Chip Tayag and WBTV meteorologist Jason Myers were pronounced dead on the crash scene. 

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"It looked very aggressive. He's really banking that helicopter around to get a shot of something. But then on his second pass, I knew that something was not right. And he just continued that steep bank until boom, he disappeared out of sight." He further continued, "You never know what's in somebody's head, but I think that he absolutely knew that he was going to have to put that down. Whoever the pilot was, did their best to put that down where they weren't going to injure a lot of people."

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Pilot Chip Tayag (screenshot via WBTV)
Pilot Chip Tayag (Screenshot via WBTV)

 

According to his LinkedIn, Tayag was a highly qualified pilot with over a decade of flying experience. He was educated at Catonsville Community College and earned a safety course certificate from Robinson Helicopter Company. Meanwhile, he was also engaged in 16 hours of formal training with Dwight Burnett and Knox Sheriff’s Aviation Department. He has worked extensively with Heli- Photo as a pilot, as a program analyst with ViPS, CF I pilot with Monumental helicopters and as a Utility Pilot with AgMax Agricultural Helicopter Services, LLC. He had a short stint with Myrtle Beach Helicopter Tours as a tour pilot as well. Tayag has been associated with Total Traffic & Weather Network as an ENG news pilot for WBTV for the past five years.

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings tweeted on his official Twitter handle, "The pilot is a hero in my eyes. 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."

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