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Air India technician sucked into running engine at Mumbai Airport



Air India technician sucked into running engine at Mumbai Airport

In a tragic and freaky accident, an Air India technician got sucked into the running engine of a relatively new Airbus A-319 in the Mumbai Airport. The airbus has now been isolated while dismantling the engine to recover the body.

The technician has been identified as Ravi Subramaniam. The man was sucked into the engine four minutes before the flight was about to take off for Hyderabad at around 8.40 pm. Air India sources told NDTV, that miscommunication between the pilot and technician may have caused the tragic accident. The co-pilot who is a trainee and the pilot, a captain has been grounded for investigations.

In a regular and ideal situation, the ground engineer present connects with the pilot through a headphone and mic near the nose of the wheel. The pilot then communicated with the ground engineer and asks him if it is clear first to start the right engine and then the left. Once, the ground engineer gives clearance, the pilot says, “Ground clear to disconnect. Hand signals at your convenience”. The ground engineer then responds “Goodbye Captain. Hand signals from left”. The pilot then waits and does nothing until he sees the engineer forward and to the left of him. The ground controller shows the pilot a safety pin he has removed from the undercarriage of the aircraft and gives thumbs up.

The pilot cannot taxi until he sees the signal.  The co-pilot then looks both ways to check for obstructions and says “clear left and clear right”, after which they move.

Sources told NDTV that in this incident, the ground engineer was to the right of the aircraft, though this is not necessarily a violation if the pilot has been informed. Officials are investigating whether the co-pilot gave an all-clear before the aircraft moved.

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