Monday, January 09, 2023

Robinson R44 Astro, N7094J: Fatal accident occurred November 22, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Hicks, Ralph

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Robert Reynolds; Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte, North Carolina 
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 
Robinson Helicopter; Torrance, California 
Total Traffic & Weather Network; Lawrenceville, Georgia 

Metro Networks Communications Inc

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Accident Number: ERA23FA070
Date and Time: November 22, 2022, 11:57 Local
Registration: N7094J
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Aerial observation

On November 22, 2022, at 1157 eastern standard time, a Robinson Helicopter R44, N7094J, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident at Charlotte, North Carolina. The commercial pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation flight.

The purpose of the flight was to provide training for the staff meteorologist over a simulated news scene. Radar, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data, and surveillance video revealed that the helicopter departed from the WBTV Heliport at 1150 and proceeded southbound for about 5 minutes until over Interstate (I) 77. The pilot then performed three left 360° turns. During the third turn, the helicopter entered a rapid descent and impacted a grassy area adjacent to the southbound lanes of I-77. The pilot was in contact with Charlotte (CLT) air traffic control tower at the time; however, a review of the communication recordings did not reveal any calls of distress.

The helicopter came to rest about 20 ft from the point of initial impact, and oriented on a heading of 015°. There was no fire. Portions of the landing gear were found within the initial impact crater. All the primary structural components and rotor blades were located within the confines of the main wreckage.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N7094J
Model/Series: R44
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCLT,730 ft msl
Observation Time: 16:52 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C /-4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 340°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 13000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.38 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Charlotte, NC (NC90)
Destination: Charlotte, NC

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 35.15407,-80.89333 (est)

Christopher "Chip" Tayag
October 13, 1965 ~ November 22, 2022 (age 57)

J. Christopher “Chip” Tayag, 57, of Indian Land, SC, was welcomed into the loving arms of Jesus Christ on Tuesday, November 22, 2022. 

He was born on October 13, 1965, in Towson, MD to Dr. Diadema Simon and the late Dr. Balbino Z. Tayag, Jr.  In 1972, Dr. Edilberto Beltran became stepfather to Chip and his siblings. Chip was the youngest of 6 close-knit siblings who were always there to love and support each other through thick and thin. Chip had an exceptionally close relationship with all 14 of his nieces and nephews, godfather to many of them. He was an integral part of their lives, sharing the joy of their births all the way through adulthood; they always remained very close to their Uncle Chip.  

Chip’s love of faith and family was the foundation of his life. He was an active member at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Indian Land, SC, where he and his wife Kerry were married on August 3, 2019. 

Chip loved life and adventure; living every second to the fullest. In his younger years, you could often find him camping, fishing, playing tennis, and riding his dirt bike and motorcycle. In 1994, Chip endured a serious motorcycle accident with severe injuries and a near-amputation. He never complained. He always remained positive and kept that big smile on his face as he endured the pain and miraculously, made a full recovery. 

He obtained his certification in scuba diving and became a black belt in karate. However, Chip’s greatest love was flying. It started at a young age flying his remote control plane to earning his pilot’s license while he worked as an IT professional. He flew for Helicopter Adventures in Myrtle Beach for 3 years. This led to his job with WBTV in Charlotte, NC. Chip loved flying, and safety was always his priority as a helicopter pilot.    

Chip was the most selfless and loving person to all who were blessed to know him. He was always happy and laughing, with that big beautiful smile on his face. His support and generosity were second nature to anyone he encountered. He cared about others, to the point that if you were around him, you felt valued. His love and connection with those around him, showed in the unique nicknames he had for family, friends, and coworkers. 

Chip is survived by his wife, Kerry Tayag, stepdaughter, Elizabeth Walker and stepson Jonathan Walker (Emily Walker); mother, Diadema Beltran, stepfather, Edilberto Beltran, and five siblings: Rowena Crist (Michael Crist), Carene Giannico (Mike Giannico), Tristan Tayag (Jennifer Tayag), Tito Beltran (Vicki Beltran), and Rick Beltran (Cara Beltran), 14 nieces and nephews and 11 grand-nieces and nephews.

The family will receive visitors from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at Palmetto Funeral Home, 2049 Carolina Place Drive Fort Mill, SC. A funeral mass will be held at 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 7031 Waxhaw Hwy, Lancaster, SC. 

For those wishing to attend virtually, the services will be live streamed at

Visitation will be Friday, December 2nd from 7 to 9 pm at Mitchell Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road, Baltimore, MD 21212. The Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, December 3rd at 12 noon at Immaculate Conception Church, 200 Ware Avenue, Towson, MD 21204. 
Chip will be laid to rest in Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens. 
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to HOPE of Lancaster County.

Jason Andrew Myers
February 19, 1981 ~ November 22, 2022 (age 41)

Jason Andrew Myers, 41, of Waxhaw, North Carolina, entered the loving arms of Jesus on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.

He was born on February 19, 1981, in Salisbury, North Carolina, to Rev. Glenn and Susan Myers. When his father received a new church appointment, Jason traveled from Salisbury to Mineral Springs, North Carolina, where he met the love of his life, Jillian, at only two years old.

From Mineral Springs, Jason and his family moved to Sherrill's Ford, NC where he attended Bandy's High School, as well as High Point, NC, where he graduated from Ledford High School in 1999. Jason graduated from North Carolina State University in 2003, earning his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology with a Communication Concentration.

His career would take him all over the country, starting at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, where he worked during and after college, providing weather updates to the control tower. From there, Jason worked as a television meteorologist at KRBC-TV in Abilene, Texas, WRIC-TV in Richmond, Virginia, and ABC 36 in Lexington, KY where he was Chief Meteorologist.

His professional life was illustrious, but it was his home life that made Jason the proudest. He married Jillian Ann Southerland on May 10, 2003, and they raised four beautiful children together: Andrew (19), Lilly (17), Luke (15), and Lydia (13).

From the newsroom to the living room, everyone who knew Jason bore witness to his Christ-like character, his unwavering optimism, and his exuberant faith. He was always quick to point to Heaven as the central source of his joy, and never missed an opportunity to crack a dad joke, offer a word of encouragement, or simply ask, "Hey buddy, how you doing?" and genuinely listen for the answer.

It was a grand homecoming when Jason joined the meteorology team at WBTV Charlotte in 2019. He was excited to move closer to family, and radiantly proud to work for a station he'd admired since childhood. He brought an unmatched level of enthusiasm to everything he did, whether it was the early-morning broadcast or teaching his son's environmental science class at nearby Arborbrook Christian Academy.

Jason was intelligent, curious, genuine, and good to the very core. He lived out his testimony, spoke freely of his beliefs, and made sure no one had to ever wonder how much he loved them. While his family kept an ongoing text thread, he preferred to personally call everyone to check in on them throughout the week. He knew that words mattered, and was intentional about consistently speaking encouragement, affirmation, and love over his parents, grandparents, brother. He kept in such close contact with his loved ones that even when he lived states away, it felt like Jason was just down the road.

While he loved people and made each and every person he interacted with feel cherished, no one knew the depth of his tender and sacrificial love more than his wife. From their lavish surprise getaways to the daily morning coffee brought to her bed and the loving, encouraging texts he sent all throughout each day, he treasured her with every thought, word, and action.

Growing up in the church his entire life, Jason developed relational finesse and an innate ability to truly care for people, intentionally remembering the names and faces of everyone he interacted with. His personal ministry included being a Big Brother with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, serving alongside his wife in children's ministry for years, leading a church community group, leading Bible studies, and facilitating a class devoted to guiding parents and strengthening families. Most recently, Jason served as a shepherd to group leaders in his church and led a father-son mentorship group that included his son Luke.

Along with the many intricately folded and handwritten tooth fairy letters, handmade birthday cards, and notes he wrote them, his children will have an endless playlist of life-giving words spoken from him to play over in their hearts and minds throughout their lifetimes. He chased after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11), walking alongside and now sitting at the feet of his loving Savior.

In addition to his wife, children, and parents, Jason is survived by his beloved brother, Robert (Courtney); his brothers-in-law, William Southerland (Kelli) and Paul Southerland (Tori); sister-in-law, Katherine Beekman (Daniel); Jillian's parents, Bill and Kippen Southerland; and Jillian's grandmothers, Shirley Peeler and Omara Southerland. Also surviving are Jason's sweet nieces and nephews, including June and Ford (Robert and Courtney), Hyden, Elsie, and Baby Southerland (William and Kelli), Olivia and Beau (Paul and Tori), and Grace, Aubrey, Madelyn, and Baby Beekman (Katherine and Daniel).

The family will receive visitors from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Friday, November 25th at Carmel Baptist Church, 1145 Pineville-Matthews Road, Matthews, NC. A service celebrating Jason's life will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 26th at Carmel Baptist Church. 

Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Mercy Church, and the ROOTS Campaign at Arborbrook Christian Academy 

There is also a GoFundMe account set up to support Jason's family