Inadequate Inspections Led to Fatal 2022 News Helicopter Crash, NTSB Finds

A November 2022 helicopter crash in Charlotte, North Carolina, killed two people, including a WBTV meteorologist, due to inadequate inspections and loose hardware. The NTSB's final report concluded that the probable cause was inadequate inspections by the pilot and maintenance personnel.

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Inadequate Inspections Led to Fatal 2022 News Helicopter Crash, NTSB Finds

Inadequate Inspections Led to Fatal 2022 News Helicopter Crash, NTSB Finds

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has concluded that a November 2022 deadly helicopter crash in Charlotte, North Carolina, which killed WBTV meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag, was likely caused by inadequate inspections resulting in loose hardware. The NTSB's final report, released on Thursday, determined the probable cause to be inadequate inspections by the pilot and maintenance personnel.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the critical importance of regular and thorough inspections in the aviation industry, as inadequate maintenance can have devastating consequences. It also underscores the need for accountability and improved safety protocols to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

The story occurred on November 22, 2022, when the Robinson R44 helicopter carrying Myers and Tayag crashed along Interstate 77 during a training flight to provide video over a simulated news scene. About five minutes into the flight, the helicopter began a series of 360-degree turns before entering a steep descent and crashing in a grassy area next to the highway.

An examination of the flight controls revealed that hardware that should have been connected to a part on the main rotor was disconnected, and the connecting hardware was missing. The says report concluded that "it is unlikely the hardware was secure before the flight" and may have been loose for multiple flights before the crash. Additionally, one piece of hardware was installed backwards, likely during an overhaul three years prior to the crash.

Maintenance records showed that a Robinson Helicopter Company service letter instructing operators to replace certain nuts due to corrosion and cracking issues had not been complied with. In March 2023, Myers' wife, Jillian Ann Myers,articlemaintenance facility Wilson Air Center-North Carolina, the Total Traffic and Weather Network, and iHeartMedia, alleging negligence and claiming the helicopter was running on contaminated fuel, which can lead to engine failure.

Aviation attorney Gary C. Robb, representing the Myers family, called the maintenance errors "egregious" and stated that there were multiple opportunities for them to be caught. Robb said the family hopes to "shine a light on this and other maintenance errors" and "move the needle towards more safety." WBTV, iHeart Media, and Wilson Air Center-North Carolina did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the poor report.

The NTSB's findings highlight the critical importance of thorough and regular inspections to ensure the safety of aircraft operations. The crash serves as a tragic reminder of the devastating consequences that can result from inadequate maintenance practices. As the investigation concludes, the focus now turns to implementing measures to prevent similarnewsin the future.

Key Takeaways

  • NTSB concludes inadequate inspections caused 2022 helicopter crash in Charlotte, NC.
  • Loose hardware and missing parts led to crash, killing 2 people on board.
  • Inadequate maintenance and missed opportunities to catch errors contributed to crash.
  • NTSB report highlights importance of regular and thorough inspections in aviation.
  • Family of victim hopes to raise awareness about maintenance errors to improve safety.