An Alabama airport worker and mother of three was sucked into a plane engine, creating a collision so violent that it shook the plane and killed her after being repeatedly warned to stay away from the plane motors.
Courtney Edwards, 34, of Alabama, has since been identified as the ground handling agent killed in an accident at Montgomery Regional Airport on New Year’s Eve, according to the New York Post.
Airline Worker Dies After Being Sucked Into Plane Engine, Despite Warnings Not To Stand So Close
A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board released Monday found that before her death, a co-worker had noticed Edwards nearly knocked over by the exhaust from a jet, prompting him to warn her to keep her distance until the engines were entirely shut down.
Another ground worker on the other side of the jet backed up after a pilot leaned out the window and told him the engines were still running.
We mourn the loss of Courtney Edwards, a ground handling agent at Montgomery Airport in Alabama, who was fatally injured in an on-the-job accident. Our hearts go out to Courtney's family and our labor siblings at @CWAUnion. https://t.co/p8xe7Xg1MV
— Airport Workers United (@GoodAirports) January 6, 2023
Just moments beforehand, Edwards walked in front of one of the plane engines while carrying an orange safety cone before being “pulled off her feet and into the operating engine,” according to the report.
A co-pilot stated the “airplane shook violently followed by the immediate automatic shutdown” after Edwards got sucked into the plane engine.
The flight, which was leaving from Dallas with 59 passengers and four crew members on board, was being operated by Envoy Air, an affiliate of American Airlines.
NTSB Had Safety Meeting With Ground Crew Just 10 Minutes Before Flight’s Arrival, Report States
To make matters worse, an auxiliary power unit was not working, according to the safety board.
Pilots ultimately decided to leave both engines running for a two-minute engine cool-down period as they waited for the plane to be connected to ground power.
Meanwhile, the NTSB claim a safety meeting with ground crew members was held just 10 minutes before the flight’s arrival, which was followed by a second safety “huddle” just as the jet reached its gate “to reiterate that the engines would remain running.”
The transpiration agency added that no one should approach the plane until the engines were shut down and after the pilots turn off the beacon light.
An investigation into Edwards’ death remains ongoing.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe for Edwards’ family has already raised $104,000 out of a $25,000 goal.