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Airport staff who were sucked into jet engines were warned to stop

An American Eagle Embraer 170, similar to the one involved in the incident.

An American Eagle Embraer 170, similar to the one involved in the incident.
Photo: Image AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC (beautiful pictures)

Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board publish preliminary report on a shocking incident happened at Alabama’s Montgomery Regional Airport. On New Year’s Eve 2022, an Envoy Air employee was killed after sucked into a jet engine of an Embraer 170. NTSB investigators have now mapped out the sequence of events leading up to the crash..

The plane involved in the fatal incident landed after a flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Montgomery. When O My the flight was not unusual, the Embraer auxiliary power supply (APU) did not work during the flight. The APU powers all of the aircraft’s non-propulsion engines Equipmentincluding electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems. As a result, the pilots decided to leave jet of small plane engine running until the aircraft is connected to ground power.

Reportedly, ground crews were told twice that the plane’s jet engines would run while the plane was parked. The co-pilot on the flight even reminded the ramp agents of this through the cockpit window. The NTSB report states:

“Ground staff reported that a safety briefing was held about 10 minutes before the aircraft arrived at the gate. A second safety “gathering” was held just before the aircraft reached the gate, to reiterate that the engines will continue to run until ground power is connected. It has also been discussed that aircraft should not be approached and that the safety cone diamond should not be placed until the engine is off, turns down, and the aircraft’s rotating beacon has been extinguished by the crew.

Despite these many warnings, surveillance video from the airport showed the unnamed ramp agent circling the Embraer plane and stepping in front of the number one jet engine while it was still running, the NTSB said. Footage shows the agent being pulled off his legs and into a turbine. The pilots felt the plane shake violently and the number one engine automatically shut down.

Based on other workers on siteramp agent already available was was pushed through by the engine’s exhaust once and was warned to stay away from the engine before a fatal incident occurred.

The report notes that the American Eagle employee manual specifies “the ingestion zone for all aircraft types is 15 feet,” and that personnel should not enter the ingestion zone until an aircraft’s engine or engines have fully spooled down and come to a stop.

The NTSB’s findings are preliminary, and more information may come to light as the investigation continues.


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