Aviation News

August 9, 2011

New Zealand Engineer Dead After Being Sucked Into Plane Engine

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Police in New Zealand are investigating the death of an aircraft engineer who was sucked into a plane’s engine early Monday morning, officials said on Tuesday.

The accident happened just after 8 a.m. local time on Monday at a Safe Air aircraft engine testing facility at Woodbourne Air Field, located near Blenheim on the South Island of New Zealand. Safe Air is a subsidiary of Air New Zealand.

According to Air New Zealand, the Rolls-Royce T56 turboprop engine from a Royal New Zealand Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules cargo plane was being tested without its propellers on when

U.S. Air Force members of the 746th Aircraft Maintenance Unit guide an Allison T56 turboprop engine into place as they remount it onto a Lockheed C-130H Hercules aircraft on 13 July 2007, in Southwest Asia.

U.S. Air Force members of the 746th Aircraft Maintenance Unit guide an Allison T56 turboprop engine into place as they remount it onto a Lockheed C-130H Hercules aircraft on 13 July 2007, in Southwest Asia. (Photo by US Air Force/Master Sgt. Ken Stephens)

, reportedly entered the testing enclosure and was sucked into the engine.

Tasman Police Acting District Commander Steve Caldwell said emergency services performed CPR on the Hunter, but their attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene. “Police are investigating this death on behalf of Coroner who will determine the cause of death in due course,” Caldwell said.

The acting district command said police are also assisting an Occupational Safety and Health Investigation as the death occurred during the engineer’s work. He identified the victim as Miles Hunter of Blenheim.

The Marlborough Express newspaper reported that the engine will be dismantled to recover parts of the body.