Man sucked into plane engine – reports
Published: 9:07AM Monday August 08, 2011 Source: ONE News / Newstalk ZB
- Emergency services at Woodbourne Airport – Source: Fairfax
A man was killed when he was apparently sucked into a plane engine at Woodbourne Airport near Blenheim this morning.
Marlborough area police commander Inspector Steve Caldwell said police were assisting an Occupational Safety and Health investigation after the local man, 51, was killed at a remote corner of the airfield about 8.15am.
Caldwell said how the man died was ”all assumption at this stage”, however, three sources have said he was sucked into a plane engine.
SAFE Air Ltd, which runs a maintenance service for the military at the site, said the man died while performing a routine maintenance operation.
It said it will be working with the Police and Department of Labour on the investigation into the incident.
SAFE Air is a subsidary of Air New Zealand, and its CEO Rob Fyfe and Technical Operations Manager Vanessa Stoddart are travelling to to Blenheim to support the engineer’s family and colleagues.
A former employee said the engine wasn’t fitted to an aircraft when the man was killed.
He said SAFE Air tested Hercules engines on a frame in a remote corner of the airport once they had been serviced.
The man had reportedly entered the testing enclosure while the engine was running.
Woodbourne is home to the Air Force’s only heavy maintenance facility for the repair of engines, airframes and avionics which was commercialised in 1998 and is now run by SAFE Air Ltd.
Around 450 contractors work at the maintenance facility.
The airport, 8km west of Blenheim, is also used by the Air Force for training new pilots and by commercial carriers.
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