How do you say you’re sorry to a passenger who just walked into the prop? It happened this week at our airport when the pilot/CFI of a Cessna 172 neglected to shut down before dropping off a passenger. Our local paper, of course, put the story on top of Page One which doesn’t help GA’s image. The lady walked forward and her arm was partially severed – I probably don’t need to be any more graphic.
This happens about twice a year on average, often with a fatality, but always with serious injury. I will admit to having boarded and dropped off other pilots without a shutdown but always with a briefing beforehand. No one ever approaches or disembarks ahead of the wing – I make that absolutely clear and in retrospect, it’s probably not such a great idea. With non-pilots there is no question that the engine(s) will be shut down.
As instructors, and pilots it’s a sober reminder that the business end of the aircraft is just that and we should discuss it with those less aware. Please be mindful. Here are a few links to ASF materials on the subject.
This will be more than you wanted to know about the oft neglected, very reliable and very dangerous propeller. Ramp safety is just as critical as flight safety.