Alabama Airline Worker and Mom of 3 Sucked Into Plane Engine Was Warned to Stay Back: NTSB


A newly released report sheds some light on the brutal New Year’s Eve killing of a ground crew worker at Alabama’s Montgomery Regional Airport .

The report details a review conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The incident began when one recently landed plane ran a required two-minute engine cool-down.

As ground workers began to approach, the flight’s first officer opened a cockpit window and gave the workers a verbal warning, according to the report.

Emergency lights and a “crew alerting system” were also in operation.

Investigators Find Cause of Fatal Roller Coaster Derailment: 'We Will Make Sure Something Like This Will Never Happen Again'

Nevertheless, one worker walked in front of an engine, was “pulled off her feet and into the operating engine” and suffered fatal injuries.

The ground crew worker — later identified as Courtney Edwards, 34, according to Fox News — was a mother of three.

Edwards was given multiple warnings that the engines would remain on during the cool-down period in addition to the pilot’s verbal warning and the safety lights.

According to the NTSB review, the MGM ground crew held multiple safety meetings in advance of the plane’s landing.

During these meetings, it was emphasized that the engines would be running, and therefore unsafe, during the engine cool-down period, which was set to last until the plane connected to ground power.

As Edwards approached the plane to set up cones and perform her duties, multiple crew members attempted to wave her off.

The NTSB review noted that The American Eagle Ground Operations Manual clearly warns ground crew operators not to approach an aircraft while the engines are on and the rotating beacon (one of the warning lights ignored or unseen by Edwards) is flashing.

On the day of the incident, MGM put out an official statement.

Pakistanis Make Grisly Discovery in Location Known for Beauty, Immediately Contact Japanese Officials

“We are saddened to hear about the tragic loss of a team member of the AA/Piedmont Airlines,” the Executive Director of MGM Wade A. Davis said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”

After the incident occurred at 3 p.m., operations at MGM were put on hold despite New Year’s Eve being one of the busiest days of the year for air travel.

Operations resumed five and a half hours later, at 8:30 p.m.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , ,
Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
Topics of Expertise
Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment