Airport worker sucked into jet engine warned to step back

An American Eagle Embraer 170, similar to the aircraft involved in the incident.
Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images (Getty Images)

Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board published its preliminary report on a shocking incident that took place at Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama. On New Year’s Eve 2022, an Envoy Air employee was subsequently killed get sucked into the jet engine of an Embraer 170. NTSB investigators have now described the sequence of events leading up to the crash.

The plane involved in the fatal incident had landed after a flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Montgomery. While the american eagle the flight was uneventful, the Embraer’s auxiliary power unit (APU) was inoperative during the flight. The APU powers all of the aircraft’s non-propulsion engines equipmentincluded electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems. As a result, the pilots chose to leave the jet of the small airliner engines running until the aircraft is connected to ground power.

Apparently the ground crew was told twice that the plane’s jet engines would be running while the plane was parked. The first officer of the flight even reminded the disaster agents of this through the cockpit window. The NTSB report states:

“Ground crew reported that a safety briefing took place approximately 10 minutes before the aircraft arrived at the gate. A second safety ‘huddle’ took place shortly before the aircraft arrives at the gate, to reiterate that the engines would remain running until ground power is connected, it was also discussed that the aircraft should not be approached, and the safety cones diamond should not be adjusted until the engines are shut down, disengaged, and the aircraft’s beacon has been turned off by the flight crew.”

According to the NTSB, despite these multiple warnings, CCTV footage from the airport shows the unnamed disaster agent walking around the Embraer plane and walking in front of the number one jet engine while it was still running. Footage shows the agent being lifted off his feet and into the turbine. The pilots felt the plane shake violently and the number one engine automatically shut down.

According to other workers on sitethe disaster agent had already bone pushed once through the engine exhaust and warned to stay clear of the engines before the fatal incident occurred.

The report Remarks that the American Eagle employee specifics of the manual “the ingestion zone for all aircraft types is 15 feet,and that personnel should not enter the ingestion area until an aircraft’s engine(s) have completely slowed down and come to a stop.

The NTSB the conclusions are preliminary, and more information may be revealed as the investigation continues.


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