New Jersey

Pilot Killed in Medical Helicopter Crash Near New Castle Airport Identified

Only pilot on board chopper as it crashes in industrial park near New Castle Airport

A medical helicopter crashed in Delaware Thursday, killing the only person on board, pilot Michael Murphy of Franklinville, New Jersey. 

The Eurocopter twin-engine helicopter went down into a drainage ditch shortly before noon off Route 13 near Frenchtown Road short of the runway of the New Castle Airport, according to Delaware River and Bay Authority, which manages the airport. 

The helicopter was operated by Metro Aviation, which provides services for PennStar, the medical helicopter service for University of Pennsylvania Health System, according to officials from Penn Medicine. It was training in inclement weather, to prepare for emergency situations. 

Murphy had flown from Atlantic City and was conducting "approach training," police announced Thursday evening. No injuries were reported on the ground. 

Michael Murphy served as a back-up pilot of SkyForce10 for NBC10 and Telemundo62

Murphy, 37, also served as a back-up pilot of SkyForce10 for NBC10 and Telemundo62. 

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Black smoke could be seen pouring into the air off Quigley Boulevard near the post office facility. The wreck caused minor damage to buildings, police said. 

The NTSB continued to investigate as the wreckage was cleared from the scene late Thursday. 

The NTSB reports that there have been four helicopter crashes in Delaware over the last decade -- one fatal -- and none involved a Eurocopter.

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