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  #1  
Old 02 June 2010, 11:27 PM
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Default Mechanic sucked into jet engine (gruesome)

Comment: An airplane mechanic was killed Monday morning after he was
sucked into a jet's engine while passengers were boarding from the tarmac,
officials said.

"A mechanic walked in front of the engine and was pulled into the engine,"
National Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman Lauren Peduzzi said.

She said she didn't know if any passengers saw the accident as they
boarded Continental Airlines flight 1515 to Houston . A Federal Aviation
Administration spokesman said the worker was sucked into the right engine
of the 737-500.

The mechanic's identity wasn't released, but Continental identified the victim
as an employee of one of Continental's suppliers. Continental released few
other details about what it called a "ground incident" at El Paso International
Airport .

"My fellow co-workers and I extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family
and friends of the mechanic involved in this tragic event," Larry Kellner,
Continental chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

There were 114 passengers and five crew members boarding the plane.

Peduzzi said there had been an earlier problem with the Number 2 engine, so
the engine's metal covering was open at the time of the accident.



















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  #2  
Old 02 June 2010, 11:33 PM
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Ambulance Airplane Mechanic Sucked Into Jet Engine, Killed at El Paso Airport

From January 2006:

Quote:
An airplane mechanic was killed after he was sucked into a jet's engine while passengers were boarding from the tarmac.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,181825,00.html
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  #3  
Old 02 June 2010, 11:42 PM
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Here is a detailed report of the incident.
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  #4  
Old 03 June 2010, 02:25 PM
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I can't make heads or tails out of it. At least it was quick.
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  #5  
Old 03 June 2010, 11:24 PM
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Yow!

Man, that is... wow.

I remember watching one of those "Most Amazing Videos"-type shows once and it showed a video of someone getting sucked into an engine of a fighter jet. And amazingly, the guy actually survived. I'll admit to not understanding a thing about aircraft but I guess one factor was the fact that the fighter jet's engine was much smaller than one of an airliner for obvious reasons.

I really feel sorry for the mechanic's loved ones though.
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  #6  
Old 03 June 2010, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrekkerScout View Post
Here is a detailed report of the incident.
From that, a masterpiece of understatement:
Quote:
The El Paso County Medical Examiner stated that neither an autopsy nor toxicological tests were possible due to the nature of the accident and the condition of the remains.
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  #7  
Old 04 June 2010, 03:09 AM
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You have to wonder whether either of those was really necessary though? The cause of death was pretty obvious.
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  #8  
Old 04 June 2010, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One-Fang View Post
You have to wonder whether either of those was really necessary though? The cause of death was pretty obvious.
The company/ industry will likely want to know why the accident occurred, in order to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future. Knowing whether the mechanic in question was under the influence of some substance, or had some sort of medical problem that caused him to lose his balance/ lose consciousness and fall into the engine would help them create such a report.
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  #9  
Old 04 June 2010, 03:19 AM
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Borg

Quote:
Originally Posted by One-Fang View Post
You have to wonder whether either of those was really necessary though? The cause of death was pretty obvious.
Both are usually required in cases of death where there may be a question of liability, such as workplace accidents. The rules vary with the local authority, but some places run a tox screen on any death not due to natural causes.
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  #10  
Old 12 June 2010, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notebook View Post
Man, that is... wow.

I remember watching one of those "Most Amazing Videos"-type shows once and it showed a video of someone getting sucked into an engine of a fighter jet. And amazingly, the guy actually survived. I'll admit to not understanding a thing about aircraft but I guess one factor was the fact that the fighter jet's engine was much smaller than one of an airliner for obvious reasons.
IIRC that was an A-6 Intruder on the flight deck of a carrier. The man survived because the moving parts of the Intruder's engine are behind a set of fixed vanes. (and he was wearing a helmet!)
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  #11  
Old 12 June 2010, 02:46 PM
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How many times do I have to tell people, no capes!
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  #12  
Old 12 June 2010, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One-Fang View Post
You have to wonder whether either of those was really necessary though? The cause of death was pretty obvious.
There's the difference between proximal and ultimate cause though. The ultimate cause might have been the engine, but there might have been contributory factors that impaired judgment or balance. I think the best anyone could do in this instance (looking at the state of the remains) was to confirm the deceased's identity from tissue remains.

It's a bit like assuming the driver of a car that's driven off a cliff died of impact injuries when in fact a heart attack or stroke might have caused the driver to lose control (through incapacitation or even death).
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  #13  
Old 12 June 2010, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
There's the difference between proximal and ultimate cause though. The ultimate cause might have been the engine, but there might have been contributory factors that impaired judgment or balance. I think the best anyone could do in this instance (looking at the state of the remains) was to confirm the deceased's identity from tissue remains.

It's a bit like assuming the driver of a car that's driven off a cliff died of impact injuries when in fact a heart attack or stroke might have caused the driver to lose control (through incapacitation or even death).
Also, like someone said before, it assesses liability. One thing that makes me concerned is whether there was clear indicators of how far away groundcrew have to be from the intake (at its varying speeds). It sounded like the engine had been recently at a higher speed/rep before he walked into the intake zone. I don't know airplane mechanics, but could it be safe to assume that higher engine rpm's equal a higher intake zone?
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  #14  
Old 12 June 2010, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaidenAthene View Post
I don't know airplane mechanics, but could it be safe to assume that higher engine rpm's equal a higher intake zone?
Yes, there's an engine intake hazard area that forms a semicircle around the front of the engine, which is much larger at max thrust than at idle, and these parameters are things a mechanic would have memorized.

With the caveat I am in no way qualified to interpret this incident: It's possible he was just outside the idle thrust hazard area when he moved forward of the intake and into the max thrust hazard area, somehow forgetting for a moment that he was not inspecting an engine at idle.
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  #15  
Old 12 June 2010, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemy View Post
Yes, there's an engine intake hazard area that forms a semicircle around the front of the engine, which is much larger at max thrust than at idle, and these parameters are things a mechanic would have memorized.
Hence the need for an investigation. Did the mechanic do something wrong, like walking to close to the intake of an engine operating well above idle, or did the pilot (or someone else) spin the engine up while the mechanic was in front of the engine?

Looks to me like at least one of the engine's cowlings was open, which I would think is incorrect for any engine that isn't either stopped or at least idling.
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  #16  
Old 13 June 2010, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Hence the need for an investigation. Did the mechanic do something wrong, like walking to close to the intake of an engine operating well above idle, or did the pilot (or someone else) spin the engine up while the mechanic was in front of the engine?
TrekkerScout's link in post #3 above http://investigativereportingworksho...60131X00140/1/ answers most if not all of your questions.

But yes the pilot spun up the engine at the request of the maintenance crew without proper authorisation - then shut it down rather quickly when he heard an unusual thud - but too late for the mechanic.
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  #17  
Old 13 June 2010, 07:12 PM
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After reading the links and thinking about it, I have to wonder.

Has anyone considered it might have been suicide? From what I've been able to gather from the article, he'd worked around jet engines and whatnot since 1997. That's what, 13 years? And yet on this day he just conveniently "forgets" to wear his safety equipment and takes a stroll behind the engine?
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  #18  
Old 13 June 2010, 07:40 PM
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Ever watch Air Crash Investigation? Many very experienced pilots have unfortunately made a simple error that any rookie would know not to do. When you do something over and over and over for years, sometimes you just get a little blinded by it and don't really 'think' about what you're doing. Like running on autopilot - ever missed your turnoff because you're driving on auto and just spaced out?
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  #19  
Old 14 June 2010, 01:35 AM
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I'd go with complacency over suicide as One-Fang pointed out.

This sounds like a last minute job where the maintenence crew were a little bit frustrated, wanted to get the damn thing fixed and go home.

It wouldn't be the first time that someone just ignored safety procedures in order to save time "Meh I don't need the helmet and the boots, this'll only take five minutes" . I've seen it myself but never with fatal or any consequences though there could have been.
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  #20  
Old 14 June 2010, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyLockeout View Post
After reading the links and thinking about it, I have to wonder.

Has anyone considered it might have been suicide? From what I've been able to gather from the article, he'd worked around jet engines and whatnot since 1997. That's what, 13 years? And yet on this day he just conveniently "forgets" to wear his safety equipment and takes a stroll behind the engine?
It's called "familiarity breeds contempt" or just plain old complacency. I've seen it at work - "I know what I'm doing, I won't bother to wear a harness while working on that gantry" but one misstep means "Mr Knows What He Is Doing" has to be taken away in an ambulance.

No, I don't think suicide came into it, just complacency.
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