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Aviation – India and the World: News and Views

A Running Jet Engine is Extremely Hazardous

In a freak accident, an Air India technician died after getting sucked into the engine of an aircraft at the Mumbai airport

Working near a running jet engine is extraordinarily dangerous. An Aircraft jet  engine, running at idle power, has a hazard zone of 9 feet to the front and sides of the engine. Its inlet dia is large enough for a human to pass. Even at idle thrust, a human who is in the vicinity of hazard area is at a great risk of being fatally sucked inside and consumed by the engine. When the engine is above idle thrust, the hazard zone increases to 14 feet or more. Engines on larger jets, like the 777 have much larger hazard zones. It is absolutely critical that ground crews can identify a running engine and stay away from it.

Engine Hazard Areas

These hazard-area warning decals are located on both left and right engine nacelles. To further promote awareness of engine inlet hazard zones and provide ground personnel with a visual definition of the zones, some aircraft operators have painted engine inlet hazard zone boundaries on ramp surfaces at parking locations. If ramp surfaces are painted, aircraft manufacturers recommend only painting hazard boundaries for above idle power to prevent any confusion that may result from different boundary areas. 

Markings on Engine

Yesterday, unfortunately, Ravi Subramanian, an Air India technician, died after he was sucked into the Airbus 319 engine of a parked plane at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. When the Mumbai-Hyderabad flight AI 619 began its pushback at 8.46 pm, Subramanian got pulled into the engine and died instantly. Airport sources said that his body was severely mutilated.

Though the airline has ordered an investigation into the incident; the DGCA has also ordered an inquiry, after the terrible accident it was not clear how the worker came to be so close to the engine.