Air India

Air India ground personnel gets sucked into aircraft engine at Mumbai airport

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MUMBAI: In a freak accident, an Air India service engineer died after he got sucked into the live engine of an A-319 aircraft at Mumbai airport on Wednesday evening. The engineer, identified as Ravi Subramanium, was in his forties. At the time of going to the press, the body was yet to be recovered from the engine.
The incident took place around 8.30pm when the aircraft which was to operate the Mumbai-Hyderabad AI flight 619 was being pushed back from the parking bay before take off. An aircraft can only move forward and so needs external help to reverse from the parking bay. A tow van is used to push back the aircraft and the process is carried out with an engineer positioned in front of the aircraft nose, so as to be visible to the pilots. The flight was being piloted by a new co-pilot and a seasoned commander A G Sharma. Subramanium, the technician (service engineer), was supervising the push back. “No one knew what happened. All of a sudden we hear that we heard that the technician has been sucked into the engine,” said an airline source. A CISF official said “the body has been badly mutilated”.
Many of the around 100 passengers who were on the flight are said to have been traumatized by the incident.
In an A-319 aircraft the distance from the nose to the engine is about 30 feet. “When an aircraft is being pushed back, the engine, even when if it has been started is on idle thrust, that’s about ten per cent of its total thrust. During taxiing its never more than 35%. Ground staff and technicians know quite well the area that should be kept clear in front of the engines,” said an airline official.

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