A baggage handler was sucked into the engine of an American Airlines Embraer 175.
On December 31, 2022, about 1539 eastern standard time (EST), an Embraer 170 airplane, N264NN, was involved in an accident while parked at the gate with one engine running at Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM), Montgomery, Alabama. One ramp personnel was fatally injured.
The flight was operated by Envoy Air as American Eagle flight ENY3408 with an inoperative auxiliary power unit (APU). The flight crew reported that after an uneventful flight they elected to leave both engines running for the required two-minute engine cool down period.
As the airplane approached the gate, three ramp agents were present, but clear of the safety area. After stopping the aircraft and setting the parking brake, the captain gave the hand signal to connect the airplane to ground power. As he was shutting down the number 2 (right) engine.
The first officer (FO) opened his cockpit window to inform the ramp agent that the engines were still operating. The captain then made a brief announcement asking the passengers to remain seated until the seat belt sign had been turned off. Immediately thereafter, he saw a warning light illuminate and the airplane shook violently followed by the immediate automatic shutdown of the number 1 engine. Unsure of what had occurred, he extinguished the emergency lights and shut off both batteries before leaving the flight deck to investigate.
Video surveillance captured the accident sequence and showed the airplane being marshalled to the gate. After the nose wheel was chocked, the ramp agent marshaling the airplane walked toward the forward cargo door located on the right side and near the front of the airplane.
Simultaneously, another ramp agent appeared walking towards the back of the airplane with an orange safety cone where she disappeared from view. A third ramp agent located near the right wing tip could be seen gesturing with his hand towards the back of the airplane.
Meanwhile, a fourth ramp agent knelt near the airplane’s nose wheel. The ramp agent from the back of the airplane reappeared and began walking away from the airplane and towards the left wing tip where she disappeared from the camera’s field of view. The marshaller could be seen backing away from the airplane’s open forward cargo door and the ramp agent from the back of the airplane reappeared walking along the leading edge of the left wing and directly in front of the number one engine. She was subsequently pulled off her feet and into the operating engine. Throughout the course of the accident, the airplane’s upper rotating beacon light appeared to be illuminated.
The ground crew reported that a safety briefing was held about 10 minutes before the airplane arrived at the gate. A second safety “huddle” was held shortly before the airplane arrived at the gate, to reiterate that the engines would remain running until ground power was connected.
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