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Old 01-17-2006, 06:29 PM   #1  
Gets Weekends Off
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Gman's Avatar
Joined APC: Nov 2005
Position: C-172A, A320
Posts: 218
Default Mechanic Dies in El Paso

Mr. Don Buchanan died yesterday while performing contract maintenance work for Continental Airlines at the El Paso International Airport.
He was sucked into the engine of a B-737 while passengers were boarding.
Don worked for Julie’s Aircraft Service which does contract work for major airlines in ELP including AA and SWA.
I have known Don for 14 years, last year he did the annual and a STC on my Cessna 172.
He was an extremely knowledgeable aircraft mechanic, his specialty were engines. Not only did he offer free advice but also took the time to stop when he saw me at the wash rack to say hello and check on ‘his’ aircraft making sure I baby it properly.
He was well respected and will be missed in the General Aviation Scene in El Paso.
Some questions remain.
Why troubleshoot a running engine?
Was he pressured to hurry to get the flight out with passengers already boarding?
Will the stupid media ever get it right – reporting about his accident for 10 seconds and 10 minutes of agonizing interviews of people being delayed and missing connections?
Should he have known better not to walk in front of a jet intake?
I am sure he did, but all it takes is that one moment of absent mindedness and disaster happens. Mechanics are a lot like pilots in that matter we now realize.
Isn’t it just ironic that Don, the engine specialist, met his fate by one?
Farewell, my friend.
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Old 01-17-2006, 06:49 PM   #2  
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Joined APC: Jun 2005
Position: Retired
Posts: 2,925

I've learned to take everything the media says with a grain of salt. However, loosing a friend is tough, even tougher given the sudden and unusual circumstances that he died under.

It's events like these that remind us no matter how many advances we make, there are still a lot of dangerous jobs out there that are done to make sure that we're kept safe and sound inside. Thank your ground staff.
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