Presented by Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Jeffrey R. Hale
New Castle (19720) – The Delaware State Police, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Federal Aviation Administration, continue to investigate a helicopter crash which has claimed the life of a New Jersey that occured late this morning in New Castle.
The investigation thus far has determined that the crash occurred at approximately 11:55 a.m. this morning, Thursday, May 25, 2017, as a 2006 Airbus EC-135P2 helicopter, which was being operated by Michael R. Murphy, 37, of Franklinville, NJ, crashed into a drainage ditch located in the rear of the United States Post Office facility located at 147 Quigley Boulevard. Upon impact the helicopter, which is owned by Penn Star, the air transportation service for the University of Pennsylvania Health System, then became engulfed in flames. Responding fire services personnel from the Goodwill Volunteer Fire Company and neighboring volunteer fire companies arrived at the scene and were able to extinguish the flames. Michael Murphy, who was employed by Metro Aviation, was the sole occupant of the helicopter. He was declared dead at the scene. His body was turned over to the Delaware Division of Forensic Sciences where an autopsy will be performed. There were no other injuries. Damage to a shed and several parked vehicles on the property was sustained due to flying debris and flames.
Upon speaking to aviation officials, it was learned that Michael Murphy had flown from the Atlantic City Airport and was conducting “approach training” in the area of the New Castle County Airport.
The investigation into the cause of this crash is continuing at this time. Further Information will be released as the investigation dictates.
Early reports of a Penn Star helicopter practicing landings at the New Castle County airport has crashed. Emergency crews are on the scene behind the US Post Office just off the airport at what is being called a catastrophic scene. More as it develops.