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Pilot dies as medical helicopter crashes in Delaware

By
Ed Adamczyk

May 26 (UPI) -- The pilot of a medical helicopter died in the crash of his helicopter in New Castle County, Del., state police said.

Michael Murphy, 37, of Franklinville, N.J., was the only person aboard the Airbus EC135 Eurocopter when it crashed into an industrial park near New Castle Airport during a training flight on Thursday morning, a Delaware State Police spokesman Cpl. Jeffrey Hale said. Murphy was pronounced dead at the scene. There were no injuries on the ground but debris from the crash caused damage to parked cars and a nearby U.S. Postal Service maintenance building.

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Murphy was practicing "approach training" at the airport in rainy weather when the crash occurred, police said. The crash created thick black smoke and a fire, destroying the helicopter. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

The helicopter was operated by Metro Aviation, provider of services for PennStar, the medical helicopter service of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, PennStar officials said.

Murphy was a part-time helicopter pilot for WCAU-TV and WWSI-TV, both in Philadelphia.

The Delaware State Police, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating the crash, Hale said.

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