Passenger killed when she ran into a moving airplane propeller, report says

Published 9:34 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2022

A passenger on a small airplane was killed when she ran into the plane’s propeller while changing seats with another passenger at a Kentucky airport, a preliminary federal report said Wednesday.

The death happened Aug. 7 in Bardstown at Samuels Field Airport when the woman stepped out of the plane while the propeller was still operating, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

The Diamond Aircraft DA-40 had a pilot and two passengers aboard. The pilot and second passenger were not injured.

The pilot told investigators that he and the passengers decided after landing that the passengers could change seats. The pilot parked and opened the canopy while the engine was still operating, the NTSB said.

While the pilot was shutting down the engine, the woman exited the plane and ran into the propeller, which was still operating, resulting in her death, the report said.

Nelson County Coroner Field Houghlin said the passengers were changing seats so the back seat passenger could get a better view on the trip back to Elizabethtown.