Saturday, March 25, 2023

Alabama Airport Worker Sucked Into Plane Engine and Killed

An Alabama woman, later identified as Courtney Edwards, was sucked into a jet engine and killed at Montgomery Regional Airport on New Year’s Eve. The mom of three, who worked as a ground handling agent for Piedmont Airlines, was pulled in so violently that the entire aircraft shook, according to federal investigators.

A report from the National Transportation Safety Board later revealed that prior to her death, a co-worker saw her nearly knocked over by the jet’s exhaust. The same co-worker had also warned her to keep a safe distance from the plane until the engines were completely shut down. Another ground worker, who was standing on the opposite side of the E175 Jet, had immediately backed away after the pilot leaned out the window and told them that the engines were still on.

The 34-year-old victim has since been identified as Courtney Edwards

Moments afterward, Edward walked directly in front of one of the jet’s engines holding a safety cone. According to the report, she was subsequently “pulled off her feet and into the active engine.”

The co-pilot on the aircraft reported that the entire plane shook violently followed by the shutdown of one of the engines.

According to the safety board, an auxiliary power unit is usually used to power the aircraft once the engines are turned off, however, it was not working at the time. This led the pilots to leave the engines running as they waited for the aircraft to be connected to ground power.

It was also reported that the ground crew had just held a safety minute ten minutes prior to the plane’s arrival. They also had a second safety huddle before the E175 Jet reached the gate as the engines would remain active and running. It was also reiterated that no one should approach the engines before they’re shut down and the beacon light has been turned off by the pilots.

Courtney Edwards was a mother to three young children – a GoFundMe campaign has since been launched for her family

As it is, the rotating beacons on the aircraft had been fully illuminated throughout the incident, warning that the jet engines were still on. Video surveillance of the incident shows Edward walking along the edge of the left wing in front of one of the active engines. A co-worker immediately yelled and waved at her to move away from the plane but before she could respond, there was a “bang.”

According to the aircraft’s manual, recently revised in July, workers are never to come within 15 feet in front of an engine, also known as the “ingestion zone” until they’ve been fully shut off.

Unfortunately, a full investigation for the fatal incident’s probable cause can take more than a year.

More than $110,000 in donations have poured in since the incident

A GoFundMe campaign has since been launched to help Edward’s family. She is survived by three young children and her mother. As of this post, it has already raised more than $110,000.

Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.


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