A few more details have come about the last weekend’s accident where Lauren Scruggs, a fashion blogger / model accidently walked into the blades of a spinning propeller right after taking a night flight to view Christmas lights in Dallas (she has survived but did end up loosing a hand plus she has suffered severe injuries on part of her face and shoulder).
Apparently, the pilot has declined requests for interviews with the media and Lauren’s family is not blaming him for the mishap. Her parents also believe that Lauren may have been walking back to the aircraft, an Aviat Husky, to thank the pilot who might have been preparing to take off again.
However, is the pilot to blame for the mishap? ABC News Aviation Consultant John Nance seems to think so since a pilot would never allow passengers near, in or out of an aircraft when both the engine and propeller are still running. On the other hand, he also added that its possible that Lauren went back to the aircraft and that he was unaware that she had done so. Moreover, it would have been difficult for her to detect or hear a spinning propeller at night when the aircraft’s engines were on – especially if she has not been around general aviation aircraft that much.
Nevertheless, the FAA is investigating the incident – which should serve as a warning to any pilot who plans to take passengers who are not accustomed to being around aircraft up for a spin.
I can't help but wonder if this was a lapse of common sense- if the engine was still running, it doesn't take much life experience to know there's a spinning blade attached to the front of the plane, even if you can't see it. I guess the pilot should have, if he did not, given a generic warning to everyone on board as they deplaned. That still doesn't explain why someone would approach a plane whose engine was running.
If the engine was off, however, different story entirely, don't you think?