Alabama airline worker who was sucked into an engine remembers being the ‘loving mother’ of 3 children

The Alabama airline worker who died after being sucked into a jet engine at Montgomery Regional Airport on New Years Eve is remembered as a “loving mother” of three.

Courtney Edwards, 34, has been identified as the Piedmont Airlines disaster worker who the National Transportation Safety Board says was killed shortly after an Embraer 170 plane operated by Envoy Air landed with 63 passengers at edge.

“Courtney was a ground handler for Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, a loving mother of 3, and a wonderful daughter to her beloved mother, Natalie English of Montgomery, Alabama”, a GoFundMe page created by another union member said. “Know that this tragedy has and will affect his mother, family, friends and children for years to come.”

As of Wednesday, the GoFundMe campaign raised more than $100,000 for Edwards’ “3 Beautiful Kids” to help cover funeral costs, living expenses and any other expenses necessary to care for the children.


Piedmont Airlines ground worker Courtney Edwards was killed at Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama on December 19. On December 31, 2022, after being sucked into the engine of an airplane. (Facebook/WAKA)

Communications Workers of America Local 3645 said in early January that Edwards was one of its members.

“Losing Courtney was a terrible tragedy and the fact that she leaves behind 3 beautiful children growing up without a mother is just disheartening to all of us,” Courtney President Donielle Prophete told FOX Business on Wednesday.

“I am thrilled that the GoFundMe account is being embraced by so many people, including other airline employees!” she added.

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Richard Honeycutt, vice president of CWA District 3 and president of CWA’s Passenger Service Airline Council, said in a statement that Edwards “was away from his family working on New Year’s Eve to make sure passengers got there. where they should be for the holidays.

“She represents the best of our CWA Airport members, who constantly make sacrifices to serve the traveling public,” he added. “His memory will live on in the hearts and minds of his fellow CWA members and loved ones.”

An NTSB report this week said the plane involved in the incident “jolt violently” and went out with a “bang” when it happened.

Jet seen at Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama after ground worker killed

The FAA said the incident happened on the airport ramp near an American Airlines Embraer E170. (WAKA)

The preliminary report indicates that the aircraft had an inoperative auxiliary power unit and that its captain reported that it needed to be connected to ground power after arriving from Dallas, choosing to “leave both engines running. on for the required two-minute cool-down period”.


As the captain was shutting down the aircraft’s right engine, he received a message that the aircraft’s forward cargo door had opened and “the first officer opened his cockpit window to inform the ‘agent of the disaster that the engines were still running,’ the report said.

The NTSB found that the captain then told the passengers to remain seated until the seatbelt signal went out and told his colleague that the aircraft’s left engine would be shut down after being connected to ground power.

“Immediately afterwards he saw a warning light come on and the plane shook violently followed by the immediate automatic shutdown of number 1 [left] engine,” the report said.

The Montgomery Regional Airport sign in Alabama is seen after a ground worker is killed

All inbound and outbound flights were initially grounded at Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama, but operations resumed about seven hours after the incident. (WAKA)

The NTSB, citing surveillance video, said Edwards was seen “walking along the leading edge of the left wing and directly in front of the number one engine” before being “then pulled off her feet and in the running engine”.


The report states that just before the plane’s arrival, disaster workers held two safety briefings “to reiterate that the engines would remain running until ground power was connected. “.

One of the disaster workers reported hearing a “bang” as the engine quit, the NTSB also said.

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