Search ongoing for missing helicopter; two men missing after departing Mecklenburg Brunswick Regional Airport

A search was underway on the North Carolina coast for a helicopter with two people on board that disappeared during a flight from Virginia, the U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday.

Watchstanders were notified by a concerned friend that had lost all communication with the two people aboard a Robinson R44 helicopter at 6:40 p.m. on Monday.

The two men left Mecklenburg Brunswick Regional Airport and planned to land at the Dare County Regional Airport the same evening.

Tuesday morning, someone recovered a backpack with personal belongings in it about 3.5 miles south of the mouth of the Alligator River.

At about 11:30 a.m a Coast Guard helicopter crew discovered helicopter debris in the water about nine miles north of the Alligator River Bridge in the Albemarle Sound.

Searching are:

  • A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City
  • An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City
  • A 29-foot Response Boat-Small boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Elizabeth City
  • A N.C. Marine Patrol boatcrew
  • N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
  • Tyrell County Sheriff’s Department

The cause of the incident is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.