CINCINNATI — A helicopter carrying a radio traffic reporter crashed into a wooded hillside today in heavy fog, killing both the reporter and the pilot, police said.
It was the second fatal accident involving a traffic reporter's helicopter in two months. On Oct. 22, a helicopter carrying New York City traffic reporter Jane Dornacker crashed into the Hudson River.
The crash today occurred in thick fog that prompted federal air traffic controllers to halt landings at Lunken Airport, located in Cincinnati, and at Greater Cincinnati International Airport in northern Kentucky, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati.
Police identified the victims as pilot Dan Gould, of Dayton, Ohio, and WKRC traffic reporter Nancy McCormick, 26, of Fort Thomas, Ky.
"I don't know how much longer I want to stay in this business," said Mike Redden, who flies for WLW radio and used to be a pilot for McCormick.
Richard Hunt, WKRC's news director, said his station's last contact with McCormick was at 6:33 a.m. EST, two minutes after her helicopter took off from the heliport at Lunken.
Police began searching for the missing helicopter about 7:15 a.m., but the thick fog hampered the effort and the bodies were not found until shortly before 8:50 a.m., after a passing motorist found the wreckage and alerted police.
"It looks like they hit the top of the trees and disintegrated," police officer Howard Nichols said.