SAD-Atlantic Aviation worker at OKC killed by propeller

#1 a ramp worker at Atlantic Aviation at Wiley Post Airport lost his life early this morning after being hit by a propeller.


I’m surprized he lived long enough to get to the hospital.


A common rule with ambulances… (especially mine)

No one dies in the back. They were either dead when we got there, or died after we left them at the hospital.

We don’t transport bodies. If we have initiated life-saving efforts, we will generally continue until told to stop by the receiving physician.


While most propellor strikes are fatal, there have been quite a few instances where the propellor only struck a glancing blow and the victim received a bruised extremity or a large headache.

We had a large mixed breed dog (primarily Rottweiler) at KVAY that enjoyed sleeping under aircraft fuselages. He had been struck in the head by a propellor at least twice to our certain knowledge and quite possibly as many as four times. This resulted in him being laid back in temperament (wouldn’t even chase any of the many cats around the airport) with a very short attention span!


That’s what I was thinking. I wonder if the aircraft that struck him was a Lifeguard?


Now that would be convenient… Or was it intentional? Job security? :smiling_imp:


FAA Registry of Pilatus PC-12, and Flightaware showing the incoming aircraft that struck the linesman.



That aircraft is a 135 bird that is used as an air ambulance as well as exec transport for the doctors.

Prayers to the lost lineman’s family…



Yes, sad. Not following procedure? What’s the rush to chalk a PC-12?


That ramp is not level, and as such, an aircraft can roll which leads to other problems. Brakes are generally hot from the deceleration on the runway. At KPWA, Atlantic’s ramp is at midfield and just a short distance from the runway allowing little time for the brakes to sufficiently cool.

Unfortunately, it is easy to armchair quarterback this one – instead of chocking the nose wheel on a single engined aircraft, why not chock the mains?


Yes, very unfortunate indeed…

Line Technician Safety 101: Never approach a moving propeller…


Just heard about this accident when I got here to Fort Wayne. I asked the line guy at Atlantic how he was doing and he told me not so good, and then went on to tell me all about this poor guy.
I told him it’s probably not as uncommon as we think, and we all have to be very careful. I know of an accident where a line guy on his first week on the job (it might have been his first day, don’t recall) who walked into the spinning main rotor on a Sikorsky S-76 at Linden, NJ. … 135&akey=1
I don’t know why they didn’t engage the rotor brake during the refueling ops. You can keep the engines running with the blades stopped on an S-76.
It’s always a dangerous operation, but you just have to be careful. I’ve hot fueled helicopters a few hundred times, but you can never get complacent.


Problem is that what you can’t see can kill you on the line…

Flew into 2G2 and my wife’s cousin wanted to walk out before the engine was shut down and for the life of her cousin, she just didn’t get the danger factor, luckily my wife was there to pull her back.

Only use this as an example, things happen becouse people just “don’t think”…

This is one reason I will NEVER have my plane hand proped. If it doesn’t start by conventional means, then I have a problem that needs to be mechanically fixed.



ding ding ding we have a winner! That’s the key for all of us.

Although Allen’s story of being escorted to/from plane today seems extreme… sometimes it amazes me I can just buzz through a gate and drive or walk out to any plane I want, including the one I’m flying or picking up pax. I hardly ever drive out on the ramp anymore just because I don’t want to be responsible for a huge mistake.

Allen, you’re smart. A few months ago I was a passenger in a plane that had to be hand cranked, hot wired and just about every other trick. The manager of the FBO was standing right at the prop and I was sitting in the back watching with a really bad feeling. It all worked out but I didn’t like what I saw.

Aviation is pretty safe if you remove most of the obvious danger. (Ya, I just made that up).


IF, you need to go near a moving propeller, the best route, is to place one hand on the leading edge of the wing, and continue to trace it as you walk towards the aircraft. In this accident above, walking to the wing first, trace it to the fuselage, step forward to the wheel, chock, and retrace your steps.

Better still, don’t go near the propeller until it is fully stopped, and you know the pilot is aware you are there!

Linesman have to do ground power starts from time to time, a scary example is the Twin Baron. To unplug it, you must place yourself between the moving propeller and the wing!

We had a case in Toronto, at Innotech Aviation, it happened to be Christmas day, a Cessna 210, Husband, Wife and two small children on board. The male pilot was a 15 year American Airlines pilot, the wife, was a student pilot. She exited the aircraft and walked right into the moving propeller. She did survive, but had severe injuries.

The pilot had stated he had just warned his wife about the propeller when she stepped out, all he heard was Thud, Thud.


I can think of alot of examples but sometimes you just don’t fully apperciate the true danger associated with an obvious risk. I see people cut the median to turn around on the Interstate all the time. Most of those cars are going 80mph!

I’ve boarded and dropped a pax from single engine aircraft before. I’ve been the pax doing it too. At idle, it’s shocking how much thrust that little prop can produce.


I cannot fathom any reason for me letting a passenger off my plane with the prop turning for the very exact reason robbreid posted about the husband and wife team above. What you can’t see can kill you.

If I have to have a quick turn for any reason, that time will be built in the beginning part of my flight, there is nothing that important that can’t wait a whole 5 to 10 minutes from shut down, to unloading and restarting.

If the plane acts cantankerous because of hot starts, learning to start the plane with a passenger is not the time to learn anyway.

If there was a fear of the plane not starting at the destination, why would you fly it in the first place? Yeah, I know the saying goes, money talks, but for me, not at the cost of safety.

I have gotten on a plane with the prop turning myself, and to be honest, I didn’t like it for the very same reason you say about the thrust. It would be very easily to get distracted because of debris blowing back toward you or you dropping something yourself as you push hard on the door to try to get in the plane yourself…

Granted, the debris would be blown away from the prop end of the plane, but why even risk it in the first place?

And putting chocks on the nose wheel of a plane with turning props is an unfathomable reason for getting near the prop while turning. If there was any concern on the plane moving while the pilot is shutting down, put the durn chocks on the mains until the engines are shut down.


#18 … 073&akey=1


Not a good idea to be outside a running aircraft with nobody at the controls.


There was a ramp worker who was chocking a Dash-8 who lost his life a while back. He had ~20yrs on the job but had been recently furloughed. The incident happened about two weeks after his return. He hadn’t thrown the chocks far enough out of the aircrafts path when it was turning out, and rushed in to move them, forgetting about the props. A lot of things were done wrong in this instance, but it happens when you become complacent. This is a very sad situation, but we are likely to see more incidents because the airlines starting pay for rampers is less than McDonald’s and the glamour of “being in aviation” is gone. The veterans who have the training and experience are jumping at early outs or are bitter about cuts. Most rampers are either working two jobs or really just don’t care enough. My airline was so concerned about the accident at Atlantic Aviation that an e-mail was sent out with high priority to prompt everyone to make sure the rampers understood the danger.