On Friday, January 21, 1994, at 1845 hours eastern standard time, a Cessna 152, N95537, operated by Laurel Aero Services of Georgetown, Delaware, and piloted by William J. Oetzel of Rockland, Delaware, was not damaged when Berma L. Griffith of Georgetown, walked into the propeller while the airplane was standing still at the Sussex County Airport in Georgetown. Ms. Griffith was seriously injured. The student and instructor pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The instructional night flight was conducted under 14 CFR 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
Ms. Griffith stated that on the night of the accident, she was at her family's business, GCG Aircraft Services, doing the book keeping. She stated she was on her way home when a lineman at Delmarva Aircraft asked her if she would watch the desk and radios for a minute.
Ms. Griffith stated that she was watching the desk and monitoring the unicom frequency for the lineman when she heard a pilot from N95537 make a call-out over the unicom. Ms. Griffith stated that she did not know what to do or how to answer the pilot so she decided to walk out to the airplane and tell the pilot that the lineman would be back shortly. She stated that she started to walk to the right side of the airplane when her right hand contacted the propeller severing four fingers.
The instructor pilot stated that he and his student were accomplishing a checklist and preparing for an instructional cross country flight when the accident occurred. He stated that they had turned on the airplane's external lights and the student pilot made a call-out over the unicom frequency requesting an advisory. There was no response to the advisory request. He stated that they continued to prepare for the flight and started the engine. The instructor pilot stated that shortly thereafter, he saw Ms. Griffith approaching the left wing tip of the airplane. He stated that when Ms. Griffith turned toward the front of the airplane, he pulled the mixture control to the off position and requested the student pilot to "shut it down." He stated that they both reached for the magneto switch and turned it to the off position. He stated that Ms. Griffith made contact with the propeller before the engine propeller stopped rotating.