On January 15, 2004, at 1930 eastern standard time, a Cessna U206G, N9940M, sustained minor damage after a passenger walked into the propeller, as the airplane was standing with the engine running at the Kelleys Island Airport (89D), Kelleys Island, Ohio. The certificated private pilot and passenger were not injured; however, a second passenger was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, after arriving from the Sandusky Airport (SKY), Sandusky, Ohio, he parked the airplane, and pulled the power back to idle to let two passengers out. The pilot left the engine running because he was planning on retuning to Sandusky. The pilot further stated he had observed commuter airliners leave an engine running when they unloaded and loaded passengers, and knew that they had Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to do so, and did not consider it to be an unsafe practice.
Prior to anyone exiting the airplane, the front seat passenger turned around and asked the rear seat passenger to unlock the rear baggage door. The pilot set the parking brake, and as he exited the airplane, he observed the rear seat passenger exit from the rear baggage door, and walk away from the airplane. The front seat passenger then exited through the pilot's door, and proceeded to his vehicle.
While the pilot was boarding a new passenger for the return flight to Sandusky, he observed one of the previous passengers return to the airplane, and walk around the right wing strut. The pilot then heard a strange sound, and the engine stopped running. The pilot exited the airplane and observed the passenger lying on the ground.
The passenger was treated for a broken collarbone and lacerations from being struck by the propeller blades.
The passenger who had proceeded to his vehicle after exiting the airplane stated to local law enforcement officers that he and the other passenger who was struck by the propeller, "each drank a couple of beers" at the Sandusky Airport prior to the flight to Kelleys Island.
During a subsequent interview with an FAA inspector, the pilot confirmed that he had parked the airplane, set the parking brake, and exited the airplane with the engine still running. He further stated that he was outside of the airplane when the passenger was injured.
On February 8, 2001, the Village of Kelleys Island passed Ordinance 2001-O-7, which included section 97.10 Aircraft Engine Shutoff During Loading and Unloading. The ordinance stated, "No person shall either load or unload passengers or any freight onto or off of any aircraft at the Municipal Airport while the engine is running and/or the propeller is moving. This requirement does not apply to authorized emergency aircraft including, but not limited to, life flight and coast guard aircraft."
The ordinance was also posted at the airport, which included signage near the terminal area.
The pilot was also Mayor of the Village of Kelleys Island.