Awful: American Airlines Ramper Sucked Into Engine – One Mile at a Time

What a terrible way for 2022 to end in terms of aviation safety…

Baggage handler at Montgomery Airport has fatal accident

On Saturday, December 31, 2022, a baggage handler working on the ramp at Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) in Alabama was sucked into the engine of an Embraer E175. Specifically, the employee worked for Piedmont Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines. The incident took place as an American Eagle aircraft operating for Envoy Air (another wholly owned subsidiary of American) was flying to & from Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW).

AA3408 arrived at Montgomery Airport at 3:35PM, 20 minutes behind schedule, and was scheduled to depart back to Dallas with the same flight number at 3:46PM. The return flight was canceled due to the incident, and the four year old aircraft with the registration code N264NN (which was involved in the incident) is still parked on the ground in Montgomery.

The airport closed for several hours following this incident, but ended up reopening late Saturday evening.

This is heartbreaking, and my thoughts are with the family and friends of this employee.

How could something like this happen?

Aviation is incredibly safe, both on the ground and in the air. So many precautions are taken to minimize risk. So far, not much is known about how exactly this could happen to a ramp worker. Reports suggest that this occurred while the plane was at the gate.

Generally engines wouldn’t be running during this time, so the big question is what could cause this incident. Was the auxiliary power unit (APU) not working, and the ramper got close to one of the engines while it was still running at something more than idle thrust?

I’m sure we’ll find out more details soon, as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are now investigating the incident. An American Airlines spokesperson has said the following:

“We are devastated by the accident involving a team member of Piedmont Airlines, an American Airlines regional carrier, at Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM). Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and our local team members. We are focused on ensuring that all involved have the support they need during this difficult time.”

Bottom line

A tragic accident happened yesterday at Montgomery Airport, as a ramper working for a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines was reportedly sucked into the engine of an Embraer E175. This …….


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