Pilot Danial Moore told reporters he “had God as my copilot” last Tuesday when he crash-landed a medical helicopter onto Burmont Road and the lawn of Drexel Hill United Methodist Church. “And we landed in His front yard, so that was kind of nice,” said Moore, 52, writes Oona Goodin-Smith for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The pilot was released from Penn Presbyterian Medical Center Sunday. He was taken there from the crash site, receiving surgery and treatment of broken ribs and spine and chest injuries.
A 2-month-old girl on board was being flown to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from Chambersburg for treatment; a nurse and a flight medic were essentially unscathed in the crash.
Moore remembers little of what happened.
Reports indicate the helicopter began malfunctioning over Route 1 and Moore looked for a place to land, flying lower and lower.
He managed to avoid houses, power lines, cars, and people, ultimately dropping the aircraft onto Burmont Road, where it slid onto the front lawn of the church.
He remembers looking up after the crash and seeing a company of firefighters looking down on him.
“That’s a real good feeling,” he said.
On Sunday, firefighters, police, and medical staff saluted and applauded as Moore boarded an ambulance for a ride back home to Winchester, Va.
Moore — a former military pilot — thanked the nurse and medic on board, as well as first responders at the scene, his Penn medical team, his “guardian angel” fiancee, and “all of those folks who were running toward the burning helicopter rather than away from it.”
It was the nurse who dragged him from underneath the smoking wreckage. The flight medic handed the baby off to safety before extinguishing the fire on the chopper, then stayed with the infant in an ambulance to Children’s Hospital.
“It was completely amazing,” Moore told reporters.
The Drexel Hill community is equally indebted to the pilot and to all those involved in the life-saving efforts, reports Alicia Roberts for CBS 3.
Members of the community, organized by Maureen Ingelsby of Drexel Hill and Bill Dirite, owner of Station Tap down the street from the church, are posting thank-you signs around town.
The idea was so popular they ran out of the signs within a couple of hours Saturday afternoon but more are on the way.
“I think the first responders sometimes especially get lost because they do it every day, but it’s amazing,” Dirite said. “I think we need to say thank you as much as we can.”
Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer about Daniel Moore’s release from the hospital.
Find out more CBS 3 about the thank you sign crusade.