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FAA issues alert on protecting ground crew workers

ground crew worker

Photo: Hans Laubel/iStockphoto

Washington — Alarmed by recent separate incidents – one fatal – involving members of airport ground crews, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a safety alert calling on airlines to review safety protocol.

One worker was killed after being pulled into a jet engine. Another incident involved a wing walker suffering a serious injury during the repositioning of an aircraft being towed.

FAA recommends that operators review their safety management system to ensure procedures require that:

  • Chocks are installed whenever aircraft towing has been stopped, either temporarily or when the aircraft being towed is parked at the intended location of parking.
  • All workers remain clear of the aircraft in tow until it has come to a complete stop.
  • Activities commence only after chocks are installed.
  • All workers remain clear of operating engines until they’re shut down.

“While both of these incidents have not been proven to be a systemic issue,” FAA says, “the severity of outcome warrants this safety reminder.”

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