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Monday, August 8, 2011

Man killed in plane engine testing accident

Hercules C-130
An engineer who was killed when he was sucked into a Hercules plane engine at Woodbourne Airport near Blenheim this morning has been named by police.

Miles Hunter, 51, from Renwick was killed during a "routine maintenance operation" at the airfield's engine testing area about 8.15am.
Tasman police acting district commander Inspector Steve Caldwell said emergency services performed CPR on Hunter, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
He was employed by Safe Air, a subsidiary of Air New Zealand.
Caldwell said police were assisting with a Department of Labour investigation.
A source said Occupational Safety and Health were on site and the C-130 Hercules engine had since been taken into the RNZAF hangar.
He said Hunter had been working on a contract to maintain the C-130.
A former employee said the engine wasn't fitted to an aircraft when he was killed.
He said Safe Air tested Hercules engines on a frame in a remote corner of the airport once they had been serviced.
Hunter had reportedly entered the testing enclosure while the engine was running.
Safe Air confirmed that Hunter died during what it called a "routine maintenance operation" at its Blenheim base.
An Air New Zealand spokesman said the engine was being tested without its propellers.
The airline was working with police and the Department of Labour on the investigation.
Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe was in Blenheim to support the Hunter's family, friends and colleagues following the accident, the airline said.

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