Cincinnati, OH Helicopter Crash, Nov 1986


Cincinnati (AP) -- A traffic reporter who had been troubled by last month's death of a New York City newswoman in a helicopter crash was killed Tuesday when her radio station's chopper smashed into trees in dense fog.
Unlike the New York crash which killed WNBC traffice reporter Jane Dornacker, NANCY McCORMICK of WKRC was not broadcasting live at the time.
The turbine-powered, five-seat Bell Jet Ranger helicopter leased by WKRC went down on a muddy hillside about two miles from Lunken Airport, not long before federal air traffic controllers suspended landings because of the fog, said police spokesman Howard Nichols.
Pilot DAN GOULD, 31, of Dayton, also was killed. He had a commercial pilot's license and was certified as an insturctor.
The impact left small pieces of wreckage dangling in the trees in the California Nature Preserve, on the city's east side. The victims' bodies were found on the hillside about 100 feet apart.
Police Lt. Thomas Oberschmidt declined to speculate on the cause of the crash, saying his department would await results of the National Transportation Safety Boart Investigation. The wreckage was impounded by Federal Aviation Administration officials.
MS. McCORMICK, 26, of Fort Thomas, Ky., had been a traffic reporter at WKRC for 3 1/2 years. Officials at the station said she was studying aviation and had thought about becoming a pilot.
The Oct. 22 death of Ms. Dornacker, whose craft went down in the Hudson River, caused MS. McCORMICK concern but not enough to keep her from continuing the aerial reports, said WKRC newscaster Vicky Lynn.
That crash "kind of got to her a little, but she was a strong person, she didn't express her fears," Ms. Lynn said. "But it's always a concern, any time you're in a situation like that, I think."
"She had never really expressed too much of a fear about going up. She really loved to work," said Larry Davis, WKRC's assistant news director.
"She did like her work an awful lot. Being a traffic reporter is one of the toughest jobs there is," said Ms. Lynn.
Ms. McCORMICK'S reports attracted an average weekday morning audience of 36,000 listeners.
Mike Redden, a former pilot for Ms. McCORMICK who now flies for rival Cincinnati station WLW, said he had taken off from Lunken Airport just a few minutes before the WKRC copter. "Maybe that couple of minutes was enough to let the fog intensify, and that could have contributed to the crash," he said.
"We were close, and it hurts ... I don't know how much longer I want to stay in this business," Redden said in an interview.
Lou Ann Watkins, a reporter for station WWNK, said that station's helicopter took off about a minute behind WKRC's but turned back because of heavy fog.
Ms. Watkins said WWNK's traffic reporter, Cincinnati police Lt. Jim Stanley, told her "The last thing he saw was the (WKRC) chopper flying into the fog.

Daily News Record Harrisonburg Virginia 1986-11-26


Jane Dornacker

Jane Dornacker played the part of Nurse Murch in the movie "The Right Stuff."