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Air India engineer sucked into an aircraft engine at Mumbai

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Air India engineer sucked into an aircraft engine at Mumbai

Old 16th Dec 2015, 18:19
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Air India engineer sucked into an aircraft engine at Mumbai

Tragic news just reported on the BBC;

An Air India technician has died after he was sucked into an aircraft engine at Mumbai airport, the airline says.
The accident happened as the jet of flight AI 619 from Mumbai to Hyderabad was being pushed back for departure.
Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani described the accident as a "mishap", but it is not yet clear what happened.
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Old 16th Dec 2015, 18:39
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I remember discussing a similar tragedy at ELP years ago with an eyewitness.

Air India staffer sucked into jet engine at Mumbai airport, dies

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, Mumbai/New Delhi
Updated: Dec 16, 2015 23:47 IST

An Air India technician died after being sucked into an aircraft engine parked at the Mumbai airport on Wednesday.

The mishap occurred when the co-pilot of Mumbai-Hyderabad flight AI 619 mistook a signal for starting the engine and the victim, Ravi Subramanian, got sucked into it at bay 28 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji domestic airport around 8.40pm.

“An Air India technician died in a mishap during pushback of flight AI 619; the incident is being investigated,” Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani said. “We are deeply saddened and regret the tragic incident at Mumbai airport,” he added.

“The body is still stuck in the engine, efforts are going on to retrieve it,” an airport official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak on the matter.

An Air India source said a probe has been ordered into the incident. “At the moment, we are absolutely clueless on how this person was near the aircraft. Only an inquiry can establish whose negligence it was and whether the engine should have been switched on at that time,” the official said.
Air India staffer sucked into jet engine at Mumbai airport, dies | india | Hindustan Times
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Old 16th Dec 2015, 20:06
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It's not as uncommon as you may think. There was a similar incident with, I believe, a Continental 737 in the States a few years ago. I'll try and get the link.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1ae_1273782186

Last edited by er340790; 16th Dec 2015 at 20:08. Reason: Link added
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Old 16th Dec 2015, 20:15
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Pennsylvania Air National Guard A-7, Dec 24th 1979?, Pittsburgh Int'l
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Old 16th Dec 2015, 21:55
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Poor bugger!
This is the only thing that has ever kept me awake at night.
Be careful out there chaps.
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Old 16th Dec 2015, 22:53
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sucked into engine

This clip springs to mind... this guy survived though, very lucky..

My condolences for the family of the air India engineer.

https://youtu.be/unXNdrtf2_g

Last edited by saffi; 16th Dec 2015 at 22:54. Reason: typo
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Old 16th Dec 2015, 23:23
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It's not as uncommon as you may think. There was a similar incident with, I believe, a Continental 737 in the States a few years ago.
That was the one in ELP I mentioned above:

http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.av...06FA056&akey=1

The maintenance supervisor I spoke with said it appeared that the mechanic had his ball cap come off and when he stood up to catch it he got ingested by the CFM. He also said there was confusion over whether the run up was to be at 70% N1 or 70% N2.

In the 1989 United 811 B-747 cargo door failure out of HNL several passengers were ejected from the aircraft and human remains were found in engine number 3 after the emergency landing back in HNL.

One story floating around the business at the time was that the engine was quietly barged out to sea and sunk.

But, I read in a travel column years ago that the engine was buried near SFO and a memorial was erected.

Anyone know which, if either, of these accounts is correct?
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Old 16th Dec 2015, 23:48
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UA811 was in the US and the coroner was in charge of the remains.
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 00:06
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Another account from the Indian Express with a few more details:

An aircraft technician with Air India was killed Wednesday at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport when he was sucked into the engine of an aircraft that was getting ready to taxi.

The incident occurred as the Mumbai-Hyderabad flight AI 619 began its pushback at 8.46 pm. The technician, Ravi Subramanian, got pulled into the engine and died instantly. Hours later, the process of extricating the severely mutilated body was still underway.

An investigation was announced by Air India immediately. The DGCA also ordered an inquiry.

In a statement, Air India chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani said, “We are deeply saddened and regret the tragic incident at Mumbai airport this evening when an Air India technician died in a mishap during pushback of flight AI 619. The incident is being investigated.”

Speaking to The Indian Express, Lohani said, “The flight was already boarded. It was ready for take-off. While it was pushing back to come on the airstrip, he (Subramanian) was working on the ground. His body got entangled in the engine.”

Pushback is the process of using tugs or tows to move an aircraft backward before it taxies out.

Subramaniam, 56, was a Vashi resident and worked as a service engineer. His job included disconnecting the pushcart from the aircraft before it moves towards the runway.

When the accident happened, an aircraft maintenance engineer was also with him.

According to the standard operating procedure, a maintenance engineer first gives clearance to the pilot by waving a red flag, after which the pilot can start the engine for taxiing out.

According to an eyewitness, it appeared that the flight captain may have started the engine before the clearance, though officials could not confirm this immediately.

Subramanian was near the nose wheel along with the pushcart when the engine started and he was sucked in.

The Mumbai Police is also investigating the accident. “Prima facie evidence indicates a case of accidental death, no one appears to be at fault,” Virendra Mishra, zonal DCP, said. A case of accidental death has been registered at the Sahar police station.
Technician sucked into Air India plane engine in Mumbai airport, killed | The Indian Express

Like a many of us, I've operated out of BOM a few times over the years. I've always had the ground engineer on the headset from what I remember. With AI does the ground guy really wave a red flag as clearance to start?
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 02:40
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The red flag will be the NWS pin streamer, to indicate all clear.

However it's possible they saw him walking away with pin and started taxiing not realising another person was still walking away from aircraft.

Just a guess....
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 03:00
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The red flag will be the NWS pin streamer, to indicate all clear.
Thanks, that makes sense, I appreciate it.
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 03:10
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Something doesn't add up.

The first report said that he was ingested when the engine started. Even if he was standing right next to the engine as it started, surely it wasn't immediately producing enough power to ingest him as it spooled up to idle.

The next report said that he was standing by the nosegear when it happened. Had that been true, we'd be killing people every day.

No doubt something horrible happened, but it doesn't seem that we have the full story yet.
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 03:30
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Check Airman,
Yes, I raised an eyebrow at those two as well.

From the very limited information we have at the moment, I think goeasy's guess could be close to the mark.

Very sad.
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 05:22
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Subramanian was near the nose wheel along with the pushcart when the engine started and he was sucked in.
I think that must be inaccurate reporting.
Does anyone know the aircraft type?
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 05:54
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There would have to have been a helluva lot of power applied for him to have been ingested. Maybe a crossbleed start? Absolutely tragic
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 06:30
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Originally Posted by framer View Post
Does anyone know the aircraft type?
AIC619 is usually an A319 (CFMI).

Originally Posted by kibz2005 View Post
Maybe a crossbleed start?
One of the comments here (unconfirmed) would support that:

Technician sucked into Air India plane engine in Mumbai airport, killed | The Indian Express

"It was reported that the APUs [sic] on the aircraft were not functional, so it was impossible to start both engines on the taxiway. Hence, one engine was started with ground power before pushback, and pushback was taking place with that engine on idle. After pushback, the engine would be revved up to 35%, and the second engine started with power from the running engine (since the APUs were not functional). It appears that the running engine was revved up *before* the pushback cart and personnel had moved to safe locations."
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 06:41
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Does anyone know the aircraft type?
AI 619 lists A 319 as equipment type
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 07:15
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if one engine had been started with the airstart unit due an inop APU why was eng #2 not started the same way or does one only start engine #1 first then disconnect airstart then use cross bleed air to start #2 ?

or does an A319 not need an airstart if no APU? (news to me if it does)
they keep mentioning a pushcart - which would be near the nose out of harms way #??
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 07:44
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if one engine had been started with the airstart unit due an inop APU why was eng #2 not started the same way
A lot of airports don't allow more than one engine to be started at the gate. I can think of numerous reasons, one being that other engines may be too close to the aerobridge.
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 07:53
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thanks for that
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