Horrible way to go: ingested into jet engine

Marc_G

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This is so gruesome:


Like, what exactly happened? Did he get sucked in and spat out the back in the form of steaming hamburger? OMG 😰

Thoughts going out to family and friends.
 

Fishhead

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This is so gruesome:


Like, what exactly happened? Did he get sucked in and spat out the back in the form of steaming hamburger? OMG 😰

Thoughts going out to family and friends.
I worked for a local commuter airline in 1980-81. All six and eight seat prop planes with luggage space in the nose. I'd often have to load the bags while the engines were idling. As I was working, the two things in the forefront of my mind were making sure the nose compartment was secured and making sure I never turned right.
 

Steve Shannon

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cerving

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As horrible as that was, it could have been much worse. If it had happened with passengers on board and a full tank of fuel, the engine could have come apart, possibly causing a huge fire at the gate. This is the sort of thing that happens occasionally with bird ingestions... and there have been planes brought down by it.
 

Rob Campbell

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Very tragic. Prayers for the family of the accident victim. Losing a family member is never easy, but it's worse during the Christmas Holiday season.
 

CalebJ

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In the pilot of episode of Firefly, it seemed perfectly fitting for an evil henchman. In real life that is a truly gruesome way to go.


 

Donnager

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I'm pretty sure there's a close call video of this type of accident on an aircraft carrier--edit found it below. A crewman was sucked into the intake, and the plane immediately shut down, with flashing out the back.

It turned out that the 'victim' was pretty well decked out in safety equipment and had uniform/harness snag on some kind of pitot tube at the inlet. The flashes were the ingestion of his helmet and some clothing. They pulled him out, with minor injuries.



That close call would probably mess me up.
 

Banzai88

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In 26 years of active service with the Navy, I saw this happen 3 times, and 1 propeller strike. 2 in an F14 intakes (I was actively working on these 2 launches and personally witnessed both), and 1 in an F18 intake (that I saw from across the flight line), and the propeller strike was a C2 (I was working on the flight deck that night, but did not witness the actual strike, just participated in the response).

All 3 of the jet engine mishaps lived (having had some of their gear injested by the engine and FODded it out. 2 of the engines sustained enough damage that they shut down pretty much of their own accord, 1 (an F14) did not and kept on spinning with NO indications of any malfunction), although most ended up losing fingers and other injuries.

The propeller strike was at night, probably the last rotation of the prop (I was later told). Yellow shirt walked too close and was struck. He did not make it.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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Yuck. That’s not good. However I go out, I don’t want my last thought to be, “But this only happens in movies!”
 

NateB

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That would be a horrible way to go. We just had that story emailed to us at work. We had a what we thought was a goose hit the wind screen and go up and out though the rotors and that was bad enough. Most of it stayed out of our engines.
 
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I'm pretty sure there's a close call video of this type of accident on an aircraft carrier--edit found it below. A crewman was sucked into the intake, and the plane immediately shut down, with flashing out the back.

It turned out that the 'victim' was pretty well decked out in safety equipment and had uniform/harness snag on some kind of pitot tube at the inlet. The flashes were the ingestion of his helmet and some clothing. They pulled him out, with minor injuries.



That close call would probably mess me up.

that would have been it for me I would have requested to leave that ship as soon as possible
 
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Seems to me like that could be avoided by putting turbine blade guards at the front of the engine.
Like the grill in front of your home fan.
People posting why that won't work in 5...4...3...2...1
 

Steve Shannon

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Seems to me like that could be avoided by putting turbine blade guards at the front of the engine.
Like the grill in front of your home fan.
People posting why that won't work in 5...4...3...2...1
I’m not saying it won’t work, but there would be a significant reduction in air intake at high speeds and the grill would have to be able to resist the drag pushing it towards the turbine.
But I could understand safety guards while parked. Of course I know absolutely nothing about the working conditions and how that might affect them.
 
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TSMILLER

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I was fortunate in my aviation career out in the filed I never witnessed nor had an aircraft mishap. Several of the machines the company I worked for did however. Some quite bad and others were Wow, did that really just happen?
One ship lost power over the Salt Lake and auto-rotated into the water, all survived. Another crew had a passenger disembark and promptly walk into the tail rotor. He didn't make it.
Another ship suffered a bout of ground resonance, all on board walked away from that one.
A Llama we had was stringing power lines in CA with a device the company had invented. The device failed, killed the pilot and two power company crew in the helicopter. as well as two ground crew when the cable whipped back.
Aviation, can't turn your back on it.
My own closest call was performing a fuel calibration on a P210. Backed just a little to close to the backside of the spinning prop. Close enough I felt it.
 

NateB

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Seems to me like that could be avoided by putting turbine blade guards at the front of the engine.
Like the grill in front of your home fan.
People posting why that won't work in 5...4...3...2...1

The intakes for our turbines do have guards, but I know nothing about how they compare to the turbines in fixed wing aircraft or how the grills affect airflow.

The tail rotor is exposed and the main rotor can dip down as low as 4ft with low RPMs and wind gusts. Even at full idle when we can offload and load, the rotors are close enough to your head.
 

T-Rex

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A week before i reported on board the ship, someone stood up in front of a running S3. The aft lookout called in on the phones that someone was throwing meat off the flight deck. Then the alarm was sounded for the medical team to report to the flight deck. As i understand it, the lookout ended up in our psych ward for several days under heavy sedation.
It is believed the ingested individual was committing suicide.
Quick, but makes a mess for others.
 

Reinhard

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A similar incident happened in 2006 in El Paso. A mechanic was getting into the suction zone at 70% power while performing a check for a suspected oil leak. News report back then indicated that was the first of this type of accident in the US.

A NTSB report can be found here:


Warning for the curious: The images of the aftermath have leaked and Google Safe Search is not smart enough to understand that this is not how a jet engine should look like. Google embeds images in the search results so you will see them even if before you click on any results.


Reinhard
 
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dr-ws

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Anything that kills a person in a second or less is not a horrible way to go.

Gruesome, yes. But not horrible.

In a lot of pain for a long time, then dying, THAT is horrible (regardless of the cause).
In which category is this: my brother's former employers once contracted a tree service who had a wood chipper. Their employee somehow got stuck in it - for twelve very slow seconds (a little less time than it took for the flywheel/etc. to be arrested). I can't think about that scenario for any appreciable length of time.
 
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Seems to me like that could be avoided by putting turbine blade guards at the front of the engine.
Like the grill in front of your home fan.
Did a search, there are several patents for "jet engine guard" with the patent office.
Basically they are steel or titanium rods forming a conical cage in front of the intake.
To prevent accidental ingestion of birds.
And model airplane jet turbines can have a guard attached. More like a hemispherical mesh.
Maybe there are technical problems with upscaling to real jet engines?
Or the incidents of ingestion do not justify the costs?
:questions:
1672824807784.png
 

ghostfather

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As I understand, the baggage handler that was "ingested" should be checking whether the engine has spun down and stopped before approaching the plane, and often the pilots will shut down the engine on the side of the plane where baggage handlers are expected if it is not needed to generate power.
It also takes a few minutes to attach electrical cables to a newly arrived plane, so the pilot can shut down the engines. Many planes rely on the engines to generate power until the tether is attaches, either in a dedicated generator in the tail, or the engine(s).
Sadly, baggage handlers are also under pressure to start unloading as quickly as possible. It is unknown whether this may have contributed, or just not paying enough attention.
I also understand that the model Embraer 170 aircraft is not very common at the Montgomery airport, which services mostly Boeing aircraft. That may have also contributed to making a mistake about the engines, or just not noticing.
Even an engine at idle has a lot of suction. That is why the safety regulations require a full stop on the engine before approach.
 
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lakeroadster

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Did a search, there are several patents for "jet engine guard" with the patent office.
Basically they are steel or titanium rods forming a conical cage in front of the intake.
To prevent accidental ingestion of birds.
And model airplane jet turbines can have a guard attached. More like a hemispherical mesh.
Maybe there are technical problems with upscaling to real jet engines?
Or the incidents of ingestion do not justify the costs?
:questions:
View attachment 554626

It decreases the overall efficiency of the turbine. Thus, due to increased operating costs / decreased turbine performance it's not cost justifiable based on the number of injuries / damage.
 

K'Tesh

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I was fortunate in my aviation career out in the filed I never witnessed nor had an aircraft mishap.
My own closest call was performing a fuel calibration on a P210. Backed just a little to close to the backside of the spinning prop. Close enough I felt it.
Likewise, I never witnessed an aircraft mishap. I was however tangentially involved in one. Everything below is real... Including the names.

An F-111E that was part of my squadron flew with a total of 12 practice munitions divided between two SUU-21 practice bomb suspension units. Dropped 11, and started a chain reaction that resulted in a bomb going off next to my next door neighbor.

1672843044776.png


For those who don't know about SUU-21s, it's a practice bomb release unit that uses spring-loaded hooks to hold and drop practice bombs. The bombs are pushed away by springs that are held in place by solenoids, it has a set of bomb bay doors to prevent accidents. There are 3 separate saving procedures: 1) Closed bomb bay (bombs can't be released even if the pickle button is pressed, due to physical lockouts). 2) Clips (with Remove Before Flight ribbons) on the outside of the SUU (these physically prevent the bombs from being released with the doors open). 3) Clips attached to the individual practice bombs that prevent the fuses from being depressed should the bomb be released/dropped.

When the bombs are delivered to the aircraft to be loaded, they have the clips on the fuses already attached. The crew chief had the remove before flight ribbons (and keeps any loose fuse clips when the plane is flying). The plane is loaded after being physical checks have been preformed, all clips are applied (6 for the practice bombs, 6 for each SUU (12 total, per SUU loaded)). When the pilot does the walkaround they inspect the SUU and the load of bombs, and remove the clips (giving them to the crew chief). Upon applying power, the bay doors are closed, and remain closed until the plane arrives at the weapons range, where they then are opened, the bombs are dropped according to the parameters of the mission (they can be released either individually, or all at one time (in a pattern that prevents them striking each other)) simulating a rolling bomb release. The bay doors are then closed, and the plane returns to base. On the ground, the bay doors may be closed, or opened, and upon powering off, any remaining bombs get their fuse clips installed. If the doors are closed those clips are not reinstalled, BUT the external clips should be installed in any station that has a live bomb (with the doors opened or closed).

The day of the incident, the plane flew with 12 bombs (6 BDU-33s (slick, 25 lb. practice bombs (simulating slick dumb bomb releases)(painted blue)) and 6 MK-106s (retarded, 5 lb. practice bombs (simulating MK-82 snakeye, or parachute retarded bombs (including practice nukes))(painted orange)). It dropped 11, with the last remaining bomb being a MK-106. FYI The practice bombs basically are loaded with a 12 gauge shotgun shell loaded with a powder marker, held in place by a cotter pin (which gets broken when the charge is fired). The unreleased bomb was on the inboard side, and thus the clips couldn't be installed (due to Foreign Object Damage (FOD) concerns). So, the bay doors were closed, and everything was safe. However, the crew chief didn't put in the external clip upon the aircraft being powered down. Still, no bomb could be dropped, so everything was still safe.

1672847117752.png

My load crew (Mid Shift) consisted of 3 people... The 1 man, the 2 man, and me, the 3 man. The 1 man being the most senior member of the crew. He would configure the aircraft to close the bomb bay doors and do the paperwork, whereas the 2man would safe any weapons, and perform the tasks related to removing it from one aircraft and hanging it on another. The 3 man primarily would drive the Jammer (MH-83 or (more often) a MJ-1) that would lift the weapons/SUUs to the weapons station being loaded, and transport SUUs between aircraft being flown the next day.

1672847882419.png

We were tasked to move the SUU from the aircraft that flew that day, and deliver it to the aircraft that would be flown the next day. The 1 man and the 2 man should have inspected the SUU to see if there were any weapons still loaded (a small metal pin visible inside a hole that could be blocked by the external clip should the station be live)(pin visible -> clip cannot be installed, bomb has been released. Pin hidden -> the hooks are still closed, bomb is still inside, and the external clip can be installed). Me, I just lower the SUU with the Jammer, and drive it to the next plane (no need to even get up out of the seat). I drove the SUU to the next aircraft, and we hung it "Functional Check Due" as standard operating procedure.

Dead Shift was supposed to: 1) Safe the plane (install any needed clips *AND* unload it (if needed). 2) Apply power and functional check the SUU. And 3) If the checks all work out, button up the panels and load the aircraft for its flight the next day. Their 1 man is up in the cockpit, configuring the aircraft. 2 man is supposed to be VISIBLY inspecting the SUU, applying any clips needed, and releasing any practice bombs into the arms of the 3 man (if needed). the 3 man (in this case Sr Airman Billy Watson) who was supposed to be moving the next days load to the aircraft in preparation for actual loading. 2 man didn't look under the SUU. He reached inside, and due to muscle memory, was able to find each set of racks and lock them closed (while not feeling the bomb in the one rack that was still lock in place). Power is applied, and after checking stations 1-5, everything was normal... Then station 6 was pickled...

According to SSgt. Ramsay (the 1 man) he pressed the pickle button, and there was a loud bang. He then heard Billy cursing and yelling his head off, as he ran out of the shelter with blue smoke streaking out of his hair. Then the world went "blue". Billy was struck by the cotter pin fragment in his hearing protection, which knocked it halfway off his head. The fireball caught him in the face, singing his hair and his eyebrows (they eventually did grow back). Billy ultimately was lucky... He could have been blinded (or worse) by the cotter pin. As it was, he got 3 days paid leave to calm his nerves, and a new nickname (Billy (The Blue Streak) Watson)(badump bump tiss). In the end everyone involved (myself included) was called in front of the base commander, and gave depositions. I don't know about anybody else being disciplined, however, SSgt Ramsay lost his line number to TSgt., and moved (by his request) to maintenance duties.

My personal close call occurred on a freezing, wet morning, in England...

I was driving a MJ-1 Jammer from one shelter to another, and going as fast as possible (the sooner I got there, the sooner I could get inside the truck and get warm). I came into the newly painted shelter going FAST... But the floor had water (ice), and hydraulic fluid leaked all over the glossy painted floor. I hit the brakes... but instead of stopping, the wheels locked up, and I started to swerve... the side of the jammer BARELY missed hitting the bomb bay doors (not one of the SUUs, the plane's actual bomb bay doors), and stopped just before it could strike the right hand tire (or my head could strike the intake). The crew chief was less than happy about it, but he understood, I had no way of knowing how slick that floor was, as the shelter had only just been reopened after being painted.

Later we'd occasionally do donuts in shelters when there was no aircraft present (f the conditions were right).
 
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