Airport Worker Tragically Dies After Being Sucked Into Engine, Officials Say She Was Warned To Keep Her Distance

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Jan. 25 2023, Published 6:45 p.m. ET

An investigation into the tragic death of an Alabama airport worker, who died after being sucked into a jet engine, revealed that the employee had been warned to keep her distance from the aircraft, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Courtney Edwards, 34, was identified as the mother of three who was killed while working as a ground handler at Montgomery Regional Airport on December 31.

The National Transportation Safety Board released its findings from an investigation conducted on Edwards’ death.

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Source: @courtney.edwards.50/Facebook

The 34-year-old mother worked for Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines when she was killed on the job.

The investigation’s report detailed a co-worker’s account of the accident, who sadly watched the event unfold.

The co-worker claimed in the report that the exhaust from a nearby Embraer E175 jet almost knocked Edwards to the ground. The employee recalled then warning Edwards to move away from the aircraft’s engines before they fully shut down, prior to her death.

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During the same time period, another co-worker who was positioned on the other side of the jet reportedly moved away from the aircraft after the pilot leaned out of the window and shouted that the engines were still on.

Unfortunately, just moments later, Edwards walked in front of the aircraft’s engines.

The report stated that while she carried orange safety cones, the woman was “pulled off her feet and into the operating engine.”

The jet’s co-pilot recalled that the “airplane shook violently followed by the immediate automatic shutdown” after Edwards was lifted from the ground.

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Source: @courtney.edwards.50/Facebook

The jet was traveling from Dallas to Montgomery and had 59 passengers plus four crew members on board.

According to the report, the jet’s auxiliary power unit, which is used as supplemental power in replace of the engines, was not working at the time of the fatal accident.

Due to the inoperable auxiliary unit, the pilots agreed to keep the jet’s engines running for a two-minute cool-down period while the aircraft waited to be connected to ground power.

The report further detailed safety warnings were given to the crew prior to Edwards’ death.

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According to the New York Post, the Montgomery airport ground crew conducted a safety meeting 10 minutes before the plane landed and an additional safety “huddle” occurred right before the aircraft reached the gate.

The back-to-back meetings were allegedly held “to reiterate that the engines would remain running” when the crew was on the ground.

The crew was also allegedly informed that the plane’s beacon lights would be on to signal that engines were running, which the report claimed occurred as planned upon arrival.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Edwards’ family and has brought in more than $100,000 in donations so far.



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