Layers of editorial oversight

Anyone else see anything wrong (other than the obvious typos) with this story?

An engineer working on an airplane iengine(sic) in New Zealand was sucked into the machine and killed.

Air New Zealad (sic) confirmed the man’s death, saying he was working on the Lockheed C-130 Hercules engine early Monday…The engine was not attached to a plane, but was on a stand when the incident occurred.

Here’s a hint.  This is what a C-130 looks like:

Notice anything funny about those “jet” engines?

Like, say, for instance, they’re not jet engines?

The C-130 uses the Allison T-56 TurboProp engine.  I’m very familiar with these engines as they are also used on three of the aircraft I worked on in my career:  The P-3, E-2 and C-2. Although the engine works on principles similar to TurboJet engines, they don’t generate their power through thrust as jet engines do,  they generate power through torque which drives the prop.

I could be wrong, but I can’t imagine that a T-56 generates anywhere near enough suction to pull a full-sized human into its intake.

How about this picture of a T-56 engine on an engine stand.

See the intake there on the bottom?  It would be barely big enough for a human to fit into.  How easy do you think it would be to get sucked into that?

Even more telling, a picture of a T-56 with no cowlings.

Notice the fixed vanes at the intake?  Even if a person could get sucked in, they’d get stuck before getting into the actual compressor stages.

Not to mention that I never, in a 21 year career in Aviation Maintenance, saw a turboprop engine being run on a test stand without the prop installed.  I can’t say that it’s NEVER done because I’ve never worked at depot level where they completely break engines down to their component parts, but I’ve never seen it done.

Is it possible that someone got jammed into the intake and the pressure killed him, perhaps through suffocation?  I suppose.  But is it plausible?  Not based on my experience.

Considering that the “journalist” in this case can’t spell and didn’t even get the general type of engine right, I’d say that there’s considerable room for doubt here.

Much more likely that he was hit by the prop, rather than sucked in.

The point, of course, being:  LAYERS of editorial oversight.

As I’ve said many times before:  when the media gets it wrong so obviously, so many times, in instances where I know something about the subject, what would possibly possess me to just blindly trust what they say in stories where I know little about the subject matter?

And they wonder why their industry is dying.


1 thought on “Layers of editorial oversight

  1. Dad used to tell me, "The funnies are the only thing in the newspaper you should believe."
    And I might add, television news is no more reliable than the print medium.

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