Drexel Hill medical helicopter crash investigation could take over a year, says NTSB – CBS Philly

DREXEL HILL, Pa. (CBS) – Investigators want to know what brought down a medical helicopter in Drexel Hill on Tuesday bound for Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.

The helicopter that crashed outside of Drexel Hill United Methodist Church was placed on a plateau and left just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday for Delaware. From Friday, he will be under scrutiny as investigators try to figure out what happened in the skies over Drexel Hill.

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The helicopter crashed Tuesday afternoon outside the church on Burmont Road in Drexel Hill.

The helicopter was en route to the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital from Chambersburg, Pa.

The four people on board, including a 2-month-old baby, escaped before firefighters and police arrived. None sustained life-threatening injuries.

According to sources in Upper Darby Township, the identity of the pilot is Daniel Moore. He was seriously injured. The National Transportation Safety Board met with him on Wednesday, but Moore’s condition prevented them from continuing an interview. We expect it to be OK.

The NTSB is investigating to find out what went wrong. They say the investigation could take up to a year or more.

The NTSB is to analyze the electrical components of the helicopter and download them during the investigation. They also plan to be in contact with companies in the United States and around the world who were familiar with the helicopter.

“There are components on board that contain valuable data that we hope to capture and download,” said Brian Rayner, senior aviation safety investigator at the NTSB.

FAA, NTSB and manufacturer officials will review everything from weather reports to air traffic communications at a secure site in Delaware, a process that could take a year.

“An experienced investigator with technical expertise should be able to find one or two items that may have caused the crash and then investigate it,” aviation expert John Gagliano said.

Early reports suggest what happened happened so quickly, with the pilot reporting issues on Route 1.

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“Route 1 is only a mile from the church, so if a helicopter is going 100 miles an hour, that doesn’t give the pilot much time,” Gagliano said.

Officials say it’s just miraculous that the helicopter dodged a network of wires and buildings and no one on the ground was injured.

The moans and moans of something overhead was the first sign of trouble, which caused people to leave their homes.

“I see a woman come to a stop in her car and she’s on the phone with 911 and she’s like, ‘It’s a helicopter, it’s a helicopter,'” Alexa Sheeran said. “And I was just like, ‘What?’ I couldn’t understand what she was saying.

The twin-engine civilian airship fell from the sky – a landing so careful and meticulous that emergency officials believed the pilot had pulled off a miracle.

Sheeran took a photo capturing the heroes in action.

“I just see people helping each other, I see, no matter what, no matter who, there is no right or left, there is no religion, there is no labels, it’s just people helping each other, ”Sheeran said.

Jewel Singles was playing immediately after the crash. She got out of her car to help at the scene.

“I stayed with the doctor who had the baby which was absolutely phenomenal of him,” Singles said. “One thing about EMS is that the job is never done. You try your best to make it all the way to the end and that’s exactly what we did, well done to this guy, I would love to shake his hand again.

They say it takes a village in many ways. And these people – with this flight crew – did it.

“The neighbors were a godsend, it takes a village, and the village absolutely did what it had to do to protect these guys and the baby,” Singles said.

The road has since been reopened to traffic.

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Joe Holden and Alicia Roberts of CBS3 contributed to this report.

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