The Alabama airline worker whose engine was blown up was remembered as a ‘loving mother’ of 3 children

An Alabama airline worker who died on New Year’s Eve after being blown away by the engine of a plane at Montgomery Regional Airport is being remembered as the “beloved mother” of three children.

Courtney Edwards, 34, was identified as a Piedmont Airlines boarding agent and was killed shortly after the Envoy Air-operated Embraer 170 landed with 63 passengers on board, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

“Courtney was a Ground Handling Agent for Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, a mother of 3, and the beautiful daughter of Natalie English of Montgomery, Alabama,” a union member’s GoFundMe page said. he says. “Know that this tragedy has and will continue to affect his mother, family, friends and children for many years to come.”

As of Wednesday, a GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $100,000 for Edwards to “pay for funeral expenses, living expenses and any other expenses necessary to care for the 3 beautiful children.”


Courtney Edwards, a Piedmont Airlines ground crew member, was killed on December 31, 2022, after being rammed into the plane’s engine at Alabama’s Montgomery Regional Airport. (Facebook/WAKA)

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

Losing Courtney was a terrible tragedy, and it’s heartbreaking for all of us that she left her 3 beautiful children to raise without a mother,” company president Donielle Prophet told FOX Business on Wednesday.

“I’m glad the GoFundMe account has been accepted by so many people, including other airline employees!” he added.

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Richard Honeycutt, CWA District 3 vice president and chairman of the CWA’s Passenger Service Airline Council, said in a statement that Edwards was “away from his family working to ensure passengers get where they need to go for the holidays on New Year’s Eve.

“He represents the best of our CWA airport members who are constantly making sacrifices to serve the flying public,” he said. “His memory will live on in the hearts and minds of CWA members and those closest to him.”

The NTSB report this week said the plane involved in the incident was “severely shaken” and shut down in a “crash” when the incident occurred.

A plane has been spotted following the death of a ground crewman at Alabama's Montgomery Regional Airport

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

The initial report stated that the plane’s auxiliary power was inoperative and that its captain signaled it to connect to ground power upon arrival from Dallas and chose to “leave both engines running for the required two-minute engine cool-down period.”


As the captain shut down the plane’s right engine, he heard the plane’s front cargo door open and “the first officer opened the cockpit window to inform the ramp agent that the engines were still running,” the report said.

The NTSB found that the captain then told passengers to remain seated until the seat belt sign went off and told his colleague that the plane’s left engine would shut down once it connected to ground power.

“Immediately after this, he saw the warning light come on and the aircraft shake violently, followed by the immediate automatic shutdown of No. 1. [left] engine”, the information says.

Alabama's Montgomery Regional Airport sign is visible after the death of a ground crewman

All inbound and outbound flights were initially grounded at Alabama’s Montgomery Regional Airport, but operations resumed approximately 7 hours after the incident. (WAKA)

Edwards was seen “walking along the leading edge of the left wing and directly in front of the number one engine” before “subsequently withdrawing his legs and being pulled into the running engine,” the NTSB said, citing surveillance video.


Shortly before the plane’s arrival, ramp agents conducted two safety briefings “to reiterate that the engines would remain operational until ground power was applied,” the report said.

The NTSB also said one of the ramp agents reported hearing a “bang” as the engine shut down.

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