December 23, 2011
The 23-year-old editor of a Dallas-area fashion magazine was severely injured last week after she walked into a spinning propeller of an airplane she was exiting. According to ABC News, the woman is making a slow recovery after losing her left hand and suffering deep lacerations to the face and shoulder.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated in their report of the incident that the woman had just exited the airplane at the Aero County Airport, 30 miles northeast of Dallas, when the accident occurred. She was attempting to walk around the front of the plane to thank the pilot and did not realize the propeller was still powering down when she walked directly into it. She lifted her hand to shield her face, and it was cut off by the spinning metal blades. Along with the loss of her hand and the numerous other cuts she suffered, the woman also received major trauma to her left eye.
A plane’s propeller is a difficult thing to see when it is in operation. That is why in August of 1978, the FAA issued Report No. FAA-AM-78-29, Conspicuity Assessment of Selected Propeller and Tail Rotor Paint Schemes. The report summarizes the evaluation of three paint schemes used to make the blades for airplane propellers and helicopter tail rotor blades more visible to the naked eye.