When most people think of dangerous airline jobs, they often assume that they involve occupations that involve being in the air, such as pilots. However, people who work in ground crews can also be at risk of injury or worse.
Passengers may not notice it, but as the plane is backing up in preparation to take flight, there are workers using a tug to move the aircraft. This can be a particularly dangerous operation if something goes wrong.
Last month, a man working for a ground handling company at Philadelphia International Airport was critically injured when an Aer Lingus plane was doing what’s known as “pushback” as it was preparing to take off, bound for Dublin, Ireland. The 60-year-old man reportedly became caught under one of the plane’s wheels and a tug.
He was transported to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition. There’s been no public update on his condition.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation by both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Although this was an Aer Lingus route, the airline ASL Ireland was operating the flight.
A spokesman for that airline says the incident was reported to the appropriate regulatory agency in Ireland. He noted that the aircraft was under the control of the ground crew, which works for a company based in Dubai, when the incident occurred. It’s common practice for airlines to contract with companies who provide ground crews to handle aircraft pushbacks. That company says it, too, is investigating the incident.
A serious work injury can require many months of medical treatment and recuperation. Some people are never able to return to the type of work they used to do. That’s why it’s essential to know all of your options, including Social Security Disability (SSD) and workers’ compensation, to help cover your medical care and support your family. An experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney can provide valuable assistance.