The Alabama airline worker who died after being sucked into an airplane engine at Montgomery Regional Airport on New Year’s Eve will be remembered as a “loving mother” of three.
Courtney Edwards, 34, was identified as a ramp agent for Piedmont Airlines who was killed shortly after an Envoy Air-operated Embraer 170 plane landed with 63 passengers on board, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
“Courtney was a ground handling agent for Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, a loving mother of three and a wonderful daughter by her beloved mother Natalie English of Montgomery, Alabama,” a GoFundMe page set up by a union colleague says. “Please know that this tragedy will and will affect her mother, family, friends and children for years to come.”
As of Wednesday, the GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $100,000 for Edwards’ three beautiful children to help cover funeral expenses, daily expenses and any other expenses needed to care for the children.
ALABAMA AIRLINE WORKERS WERE SUCKED INTO ENGINE WITH ‘BANG’, PLANE FILLED WITH PASSENGERS PULLED VIOLENTLY, NTSB SAYS
The Communication Workers of America Local 3645 announced in early January that Edwards was one of its members.
“The news of this terrible tragedy was heartbreaking,” Richard Honeycutt, vice president of CWA District 3 and chair of the CWA’s Passenger Service Airline Council, said in a statement.
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“She was separated from her family and on New Year’s Eve made sure that passengers got to where they needed to be for the holidays. She represents the finest of our CWA airport members who continually make sacrifices to serve the flying public,” he added. “Her memory will live on in the hearts and minds of her CWA colleagues and those closest to her.”
A report by the NTSB this week said the plane involved in the incident “violently shook” and shut down with a “bang” as it happened.
The preliminary report states that the plane had one inoperative auxiliary power unit and that its captain signaled that it should be connected to ground power upon arrival from Dallas and elected to “run both engines for the required two-minute engine cool-down period.” to permit”.
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When the captain shut down the plane’s right engine, he received a message that the plane’s forward cargo door had opened and “the first officer opened his cockpit window to inform the ramp agent that the engines were still running.” says the report.
The NTSB noted that the captain then ordered the passengers to remain seated until the seat belt sign went off and told his colleague that the plane’s left engine would shut down after it was connected to ground power.
“Immediately after that he saw a warning light come on and the plane shook violently, followed by the immediate automatic shutdown of the number 1 [left] engine,” the report said.
The NTSB, citing surveillance video, said Edwards was seen “walking along the leading edge of the left wing and just in front of the number one engine” before being “subsequently pulled off her feet and into the running engine.”
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According to the report, ramp agents held two safety briefings shortly before the plane’s arrival “to reiterate that the engines would be running until ground power is connected.”
One of the ramp agents reported hearing a “bang” as the engine shut down, the NTSB also said.