Why can approaching an airplane engine be dangerous?

Published: Updated on – 15:22, Mon – 11 Jul 22

Photo: Youtube/Atomic Marvel

Hyderabad: Did you know that a jet engine sucks in about 1.2 tonnes of air per second during takeoff? It’s true. And if you get close enough to a running engine, the same thrust can suck you into the plane’s engine.

The engine’s 9-foot-diameter fan spins 2,800 times per minute on takeoff. In less than half a second, this turbine can suck in enough air to suck the air out of a four-bedroom house.

Given this fact and the risk it poses, pilots and ground staff have a strictly organized set of guidelines that must be followed during takeoff and landing. Each airline develops its own safety procedures depending on the engines it uses. In most airlines, before starting an engine, the captain asks the ground crew to visually confirm that no people or equipment are present near the engine.

If you’re wondering if someone has actually been sucked into an airplane engine, the answer is an unfortunate “yes.” In India, two such cases have been reported so far, one in Mumbai and the other in Hyderabad.

In December 2015, an Air India service engineer, Ravi Subramanian, died after being sucked into the live engine of an A-319 plane at Mumbai airport. He was helping the pilots position the plane for takeoff and was near the nose wheel with a buggy when the engine started.

The second incident, in Hyderabad, is believed to have taken place in 1995, when a man crossed the runway with his vehicle just as a plane was landing. As the engines were running, he was sucked into the engine and his body was fatally mutilated.

Here is a simulation video that shows what happens when a person is sucked into an airplane. Viewer discretion recommended.


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