View Full Version : Ryanair Incident in Beauvais?

15th Jul 2003, 06:56
Some French friends visiting me today were delayed ex Beauvais and FR said the reason was a pilot had 'lost his arm in an accident with an engine'. Details were sketchy and I'm wondering what really happened??:uhoh:

15th Jul 2003, 08:55
Haven't posted in a while but just so you know, it was a french engineer that lost his arm, sympathies to him and family. Plane went tech, he got called, tried to fix it, did engine run, got too close........................ game over.

15th Jul 2003, 17:40
Sorry to hear that it happend again...
If I remember correct in 1999 it happend similar in DUB on a
B 737-200, got too close to the intake and sufferd severe injuries
and lost one arm and part of the shoulder as well. This happend
to an engineer who did a routine run-up.

15th Jul 2003, 17:56
At least it was a -200 with a row of stators before the first stage of the compressor. Lost his arm, bad enough. :eek:

If it was a -800, the guy would be deader than dead. :{

Always amazes me that more ground crew don't get chewed up by engines, the amount of times i've seen people approach the aircraft with engines on, beacons on. It only takes one small mistake, and they are toast.


15th Jul 2003, 19:05
It's scant consolation but things were probably worse in the days of big props.

Mach Buffet
15th Jul 2003, 20:54
The real question is how come one operator is responsible for more limbs being lost than all the other operators in Europe put together?

Reading the AAIU website there are also cases of engineers being driven over by pushbach drivers and being blown away by the jet blast.

Anything to do with that airlines culture of 25 minute turnarounds?

15th Jul 2003, 21:08
Health and Safety issues such as these need robust investigations. The employer has a duty of care to protect the workforce. Likewise, the employee has an important part to play as well.

Why was "best practice" not followed?

16th Jul 2003, 00:08
Mach Buffet

If the aircraft was tech and being fixed then it's got naff all to do do with a 25 min turnround has it!!!!!!!!!

16th Jul 2003, 00:38
Who was the engineer's employer presumably not FR.

16th Jul 2003, 00:52
Mach Buffet, you must be a journo. If not, you sure write like one. :yuk:

My sympathies to the engineer involved.

16th Jul 2003, 02:05
its amazing the 200 seems to be the culpit for snatching limbs. I remember I think circa 13 years ago an engineer attending a Luxair 732 doing a similar eng run lost his arm. what is it with 200's? as against the bigger fans? maybe with the diameter of the pratt ones feels a certain comfort zone and then whoosh. my sincere sympathy to the engineer.

16th Jul 2003, 11:02
More to do with the size of the intake, I think.
Recall many years ago with JT4 powered 707's (no fan, high velocity), it sucked up nearly everything like a big Hoover.
Not good...at all.:(

Plastic Bug
16th Jul 2003, 13:49

When I went to airplane mechanic school, engine runs were performed from the safe environs of the cockpit (unless, of course, the engine exploded, then, not so safe..).

I can only imagine a few scenarios where one would be aside the engine at power (with the cowling presumable open) to tweak something on the fuel control. Maybe. While the engine was running.

Certainly not on a hi-bypass fan. The JT8, maybe, but it's more run, shutdown, tweak and run again.

Maybe the guy was looking for a leak at power. Maybe it wasn't even an engineer, maybe a chock thrower got too close.

Somebody lost an arm, and that is way wrong. Shouldn't happen. Jets have been around way too long for these stupid accidents to continue. And yes, props have killed more ground/flight people than jets, on the ground.


Few Cloudy
16th Jul 2003, 17:27
On another thread, there has been discussion about evacuating aircraft without reference to the cockpit crew (flight crew to the new world) meaning that the evacuation secure checks may not have been done.

This tragic happening should serve as a lesson as to what happens when people and running engines get close - and not just the hot end either.

16th Jul 2003, 20:43
This may sound like a silly suggestion - but has nobody (manufacturers) ever considered putting some sort of mesh grill over engine intakes?

Surely if the mesh was of the right gap size there would be little
performance impact. It might even save a few engines from bird strike damage as an extra benefit.

If Braun/Phillips/Remmington can make a hair-dryer efficient and safe by putting a grill over the intake i'm sure CFM/RR/P&W could do the same on a larger scale!


CarltonBrowne the FO
16th Jul 2003, 20:49
Quite apart from the loss of efficiency due to the disturbed airflow, the big problem with a safety screen would be it's susceptibility to icing- even relatively minor icing conditions could rapidly block it. However, it might be a usuable idea if it could be attached for use during ground runs.

16th Jul 2003, 23:21
Have you ever tried to take of with your electric razor ?

I have sympathy for the mechanic. Poor guy.

17th Jul 2003, 01:39
The Braun/Remington screen idea is a very good idea (certainly for ground runs), and has been around for yonks. I've got photos of B58's in the 1950's with screens fitted in front of the intakes, although this was more of an anti-FOD measure, and I'm sure there was a photo in Uncle Roger's column in 'Flight' a few years ago showing an early jet (F86?) with a wire mesh contraption in front of the intake.
There was a tragic accident at Hatfield in the early 90's when an engineer was totally ingested into the No 2 engine of a 146 during a high power test run. The aerodynamicists said that it was theoretically impossible for someone to be lifted vertically off the ground - I think the bottom lip of No 2 must be about six feet off the ground. Wasn't long before the factory made up a set of moblle mesh cages which could be wheeled in front of engines on test.
If it can happen 'up and over' on a 146, then it's a wonder there aren't more accidents with the 'straight through' engine position on a 737. Just be vigilant, don't let familiarity breed contempt, and watch out for the insidious management pressure to cut costs, time and manpower. The ba****ds can kill you while sitting in their office!

17th Jul 2003, 04:01
As I sit here and read this thread I do so in the knowledge of knowing exactly what happened in Beavauis and can only offer my sympathies not just to the engineer whow was very badly injured but also the person running the engine at this unfortunate time.

All persons concerned will probably be affected by this accident for the rest of there lives and it is something they will have to learn to live with.

I also see the posts from persons such as Mach Buffet and others on a variety of threads who seem to think it is fashionable to continuously slag off the company I work for and I must confess after a while it grates on one a little.

I find that to ask a question when an incident such as this has happened as to imply our operation concerning turn round times is at fault to be somewhat dire to say the least.I suspect that Mach Buffet and his mates have probably only ever been near a live aeroplane except of course when they trot off on their yearly hols.The rest of the time of course they are all experts.

At what I will leave to the imagination.

Every day a lot of very professional and extremly able people work for Ryanair and operate the aircraft/airline safely and efficiently to allow the adoring travelling public to arrive at the desired destination both on time and in one piece.This doesn't happen on its own and takes an awful lot of hard work often unseen by the majority of people.

But as stated there are always people who no nothing about the operation or probably how a live aircraft is utilised who continually feel the need to snipe at Ryanair,quite why is beyond me but read the variety of other threads on this site and you will see what I mean.

To these people I can only say that if your all experts then "Hey why not come and work for us and show us how it should be done?"
At STN we have approx 275 rotations a day to look after,from the engineering side a large operation which needs a lot of understanding and a high degree of knowledge,skill and competance coupled with a good working relationship between all sides of the airline. Sometimes things do go wrong,in this incidence horribly so but, that does not give every so called expert the credence to pick over every situation that occurs and generally slate us off at any given opportunity.

Having worked for a number of companies over the years I can honestly say that Ryanair probably puts more into the wellbeing of the operation than the majority of others including at least 3 national airlines and 1 competitor in the UK low fares market.This is something that is reflected in our success over the years but this will not be good enough for the experts of this world.

To use an incident such as what has happened stinks and personally I find it offensive to say the least. As has often been said "if you dont know all the facts,then keep your mouth shut,Tight"

A worthy piece of advice for the number of people feel like joining the fashion and having a pop in ignorance don't you think?

In trim
17th Jul 2003, 04:18
It's not often I jump to Ryanair's defence, but must agree with asheng on this.

The continual attack on quick turnrounds per se (based solely on turnround time rather than amount of handling activity) becomes very wearing after a while.

Take a 'traditional' airline's 737 turnround, surrounded by catering vehicles, cleaners, freight (including animals, hazardous cargo), change of cabin config, and a cast of thousands, etc. etc. Now try and squeeze that down to 20 minutes and, yes, you have a dangerous situation.

However, strip out a lot of the unnecessary elements and simplify it to a 'passengers and baggage' only operation ("low cost"), with minimal ramp activity, and IF PROPERLY CONDUCTED this is no more dangerous, and probably in some cases inherantly safer, than the more complex and congested turnround.

I don't know the circumstances of this tragic accident, and my sympathies to all concerned. Let us all learn from it. However, let's not start another round of "quick turnround = unsafe" style discussions!

Flight Safety
17th Jul 2003, 04:34
A mesh grill of some kind is not a bad idea during ground power runs with engineers near by. Take it off though before flight.

Maybe a nice safety device during maintenance, but would do more harm than good in flight.

17th Jul 2003, 06:26
Having grills manually put on is something that would get forgotten or left out - people rush and take shortcuts, thats human nature and unfortunatly leads to tragic incidents.

I never thought of the icing problem with the grills - maybe if they were retractable somehow so that they would be deployed only
when required.

Umm have a few ideas of how that could be done... maybe I should be going to the patent office rather than sharing my ideas here....hehe


17th Jul 2003, 08:08
I'm sorry to have the sketchy reports I started out this thread with confirmed in such a grisly manner. I can't even start to imagine the horror the man felt when he realised what was about to occur to him. I hope he recovers his health physically and mentally after this trauma.

Asheng your piece was very well written. Almost 'slick' in fact. I don't know what you do in FR but you should consider the PR department...you're too good to be true.

Who cares about 'the company'...a man was maimed and almost killed. :ugh:

17th Jul 2003, 19:07
Ash you claim to know all the facts yet you share none. Surely the merit of this forum is sharing knowledge to prevent accidents like that happening again. I am not interested in Ryan bashing, but Iam interested in enhancing safety. What are you interested in?

18th Jul 2003, 04:46
Couple of points to make here gents.


Let me make one point perfectly clear,I in no way work in any PR department let alone Ryanairs. I wouldnt take the pay cut for a start.
I am just an honest guy who tries to do his level best to keep Ryanairs fleet servicable and above all safe.

I am also fully aware that a man was very nearly killed and every day anyone of us can make an error and in extreme circumstances, unfortunatly somebody may get hurt but we all work to make sure this isnt so. I happen to know this all too well and I also happen to know the guys who went to Beauvais to pick up the pieces, and know the guy who was running the motor at the time.
A number of my collegues Know the person who was injured personally and tell me he was extremly experianced and but for a lack of judgement he now has to live with the consequences.

As your name suggested you Dont Know so dont make sarky remarks about what you dont know.I hope this point is understood!


You are correct I do know the facts but am not at liberty to tell you.This case could be dealt with in an entirely different manner to what is normally expected in the UK and I for one am not about to place this info on any website let alone this one.

I'm sure the facts will come out sooner or later but not before they are ready to be released.At the end of the day if you were the persons involved how would you want it portraid.

My interest is as stated above and an accident of this kind makes all professionals in my line of business stop and take note,that I can assure you.

I am sure some experts on this site have already made up there minds as to what has happened but this is always the case when dealing with armchair experts.

18th Jul 2003, 08:18
My handle has nothing to do with my knowledge. You definitely are a PR merchant if you choose to think so.

You've slathered plenty of sympathy on FR and now hint that the injured party was at fault through 'a lack of judgement'.
Just like the previous event? :yuk:

Forget PR...you'd make a better Lawyer.

18th Jul 2003, 14:43
When a new player changes the rules of the game the first reaction of the incumbent players is to claim it is not fair or safe. This is usually a good clue that the new player is on a winner.

What is the difference between a South West Airlines 30 minute turnaround and a Ryanair 30 minute turnaround? SWA has one of the best safety records in the business.

18th Jul 2003, 15:16
SLF - Perhaps you could elaborate on FR's poor safety record.

18th Jul 2003, 16:26
My point is that SWA have proved beyond all reasonable doubt that a 30 minute turnaround is not inherently unsafe. Unless there is a substantive difference between SWA and Ryanair practice, there is no reason to believe that Ryanair turnarounds are unsafe.

I don't know whether Ryanair are safe or not - but any suggestion they aren't based on the bare statement that their turnaround time is too short is fundamentally flawed.

18th Jul 2003, 18:33
I think B737NG was referring to the "Keith Chaplin" incident in 1999. Chaplin, a line engineer, lost his lower right arm while working on a Ryanair Boeing jet.

Ryanair were taken to court, and roundly criticised by Judge Sean McBride for allowing their safety standards to lapse to an alarming degree. The airline, which pleaded guilty to four charges under the Health and Safety Act, was fined 3,750 for the breaches. and had to pay costs of 1,000.not perhaps the heaviest penalty levied!

I have some sympathy with asheng, who says he knows exactly what happened at Beauvais. However, it is the "why" not the "what" that needs analysis and explanation.

I hope the relevant authorities will seek diligently to establish that all reasonable steps were in fact taken to prevent injury to those carrying out the work. If not, then they must take appropriate action.

18th Jul 2003, 18:43
I mentioned on another thread that Frank Whittle put a sheet of mesh over the intake of one of his original engines to keep test fitters, visiting air marshals, cats and other FOD out of the hurtlin' blades, after one of them (the original W1, I believe) was damaged by an object. The idea of wheeled grilles sounds pretty simple.

18th Jul 2003, 19:38
didn't the Lightning have a grill fitted over the intake for engine runs? I can't remember whether it was just for idle runs or it could take full thrust. It could also have a blank fitted for FOD prevention.

18th Jul 2003, 20:12
We mustn't forget that we are all individually responsible for ensuring we work safely and that correct procedures are followed.

no sig
18th Jul 2003, 23:08
Sympathies to the chap injured, and a wish for his speedy recovery.

asheng... you wrote

'having worked for a number of companies over the years I can honestly say that Ryanair probably puts more into the wellbeing of the operation than the majority of others including at least 3 national airlines and 1 competitor in the UK low fares market'

While I do understand the reasons for your original post, the following paragraph was out of line with your own sentitments, please don't hit on Ryanair - then you proceed to pass comment on others, albeit with your 'probably' caveat.

By the 'grace of God go we- all' accidents happen to the best of us. I can tell you the other 1 compeitor in the low fares market takes it operational wellbeing every bit as seriously as you do- no need for that comment.