Delaware State Police

Troopers Investigate Airplane Fire- Georgetown


Presented by Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Jeffrey R. Hale

Georgetown- Delaware State Police are currently investigating an incident in which an aircraft caught fire shortly after taking off from a Georgetown airport yesterday afternoon.

The initial investigation has determined that the incident occurred at approximately 2:07 p.m. yesterday, Saturday, January 28, 2017, as Donald Byrne, 59, of Lusby, MD, had just taken off in a single engine plane from the Sussex County Airport located at 21553 Rudder Lane, Georgetown. After reaching a height of approximately 1400 feet, the plane’s cockpit began to fill with smoke. Byrne was able to bring the plane back to the airport, where just prior to landing, fire became visible in the cockpit. Upon landing, Byrne jumped from the plane while it was still in motion. The plane came to rest in a grassy area a short distance away and became fully engulfed in flames.

Donald Byrne was removed from the scene by ambulance and transported to Beebe Healthcare where he was treated for his non-life threatening injuries.

The investigation into this incident by the Delaware State Police and the Federal Aviation Administration is on-going. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Released: 012917 0730

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