Mon, 08 Aug 2011 6:08p.m.
A man is dead after getting sucked into the engine of a Hercules plane, in a workplace accident described as “one in a million”.
Miles Hunter, 51, was doing routine maintenance at Safe Air Ltd.
An investigation is underway to establish just how the Blenheim local came to grief.
By the time emergency services arrived at the Safe Air station it was all too late.
Two men were working on this engine when one, somehow, Mr Hunter ended up inside. It is thought he entered the testing area while it was running.
Safe Air is owned by air New Zealand, whose chief executive, Rob Fyfe, was at a loss to explain it.
“Very experienced people involved, so at this stage we haven’t yet been able to unravel and establish exactly what caused this tragedy,” says Mr Fyfe.
“This was an engine that was in a stand that houses it during this test and the engine is controlled from a control booth.”
Police said the Mr Hunter’s family was still being contacted. Service Air cut back operations as staff grappled with the loss.
“You know you think back to the tragedy we experienced in Perpignan a few years ago in France and when you lose the life of one of your employees it cuts right to the core,” says aviation commentator Peter Clark.
Mr Hunter was an experienced engineering technician who had worked for Safe Air since 2005, the workmate who sounded the alarm and tried to save him is being supported by staff.
It is the first accident of its kind in New Zealand, an accident that some say should not have happened.
“For a person to even be up in that position to be close to that air intake for that turbo prop engine, I think a lot of things need to be explained and explored,” says Mr Clark.
A joint investigation is underway by police and the Labour Department, with Air New Zealand also promising to carry out an internal inquiry.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
his primary challenge = MH = 48 = Remembrance.
find out your own numerology at: