Home Business Preliminary report on fatal crash at Montgomery Airport released

Preliminary report on fatal crash at Montgomery Airport released

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on a fatal New Year’s Eve incident involving ground crew members at Montgomery Regional Airport. “entered the engine” of a parked aircraft.

The victim has since been identified Courtney EdwardsThe 34-year-old mother was part of the ramp staff for Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, when she was killed in the incident.

Courtney Edwards has been named as the victim of a fatal New Year’s Eve industrial accident at Montgomery Regional Airport.(Donielle Prophet)

NTSB report It details several seemingly unobserved safety protocols that could have protected those near the aircraft from injury or death. The report states that shortly before the plane arrived, two safety meetings were held, including a “huddle” before the plane arrived at the gate to remind the crew that the engines would remain running and that they should not approach the plane during that time.

American Eagle flight ENY3408 arrived at Montgomery Regional Airport from Dallas-Fort Worth around 2:40 p.m. after an uneventful flight. The flight crew decided to leave both engines running for the required two minute “engine cool down period”.

After the aircraft stopped and the parking brake was applied, the captain signaled to connect the aircraft to ground power as it was not equipped with an on-board auxiliary power unit.

As the captain began to shut down the starboard engine, a signal in the cockpit indicated that the forward cargo door had opened, prompting the aircraft’s first officer to open the cockpit window to inform the ramp agent that the engines were still running.

A short time later, the captain “observed that the warning light came on and the aircraft shook violently, followed by an immediate automatic shutdown of the No. 1 engine on the left wing of the aircraft.”

The NTSB report notes that the sequence of the crash was caught on surveillance video. The camera captured four ramp agents at the time of the incident, including one who “appeared to disappear with an orange safety cone going behind the plane.”

Part of the report detailing the victim’s final moments states:

“The ramp agent behind the aircraft reappeared and began walking away from the aircraft towards the left wingtip where it disappeared from the camera’s field of view. The marshaller was seen backing out of the aircraft’s open forward cargo door and the landing agent at the rear of the aircraft was seen again walking along the leading edge of the left wing and directly in front of the number one engine. Later, they pulled him off his feet and put him in a running engine.”

The video also shows another missed safety protocol for staying back while the aircraft’s rotating beacon light is still on.

“At the time of the accident, the aircraft’s upward-rotating beacon light appeared to be on,” the report detailed.

It has not been announced when the final report will be released. As part of its investigation, the NTSB provided a reading of the airline’s operating manual, which states:

The American Eagle Ground Operations Manual, Revision 3, dated July 13, 2022, states in part:

“To ensure the survival of the crew and the integrity of the aircraft, you:

NEVER Approach the aircraft to position ground equipment next to the aircraft or open the cargo bay doors until the engines are shut down and the rotating beacon(s) extinguished (except for an approved single engine cycle).

Jetblast/reception zones

Jet engines spin at high speeds and are extremely dangerous until they shut down. The area in front of the engine is called the absorption zone. The receiving zone for all types of aircraft is 15 feet. You should never enter the absorption zone until the engine has failed.

Spool Down

The engine must be turned off before entering the absorption zone. This can take 30-60 seconds depending on the type of aircraft. This applies to both wing and fuselage/tail mounted engines. You must wait until you can clearly see the individual fan blades before entering the reception area.”

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