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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200010619 - Employee Bleeds To Death From Shrapnel Wound In Neck

Accident: 200010619 -- Report ID: 0729300 -- Event Date: 08/31/1999
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30225982509/02/19994522Thunder Air Charter, Inc.
At approximately 2:30 p.m. on August 31, 1999, Employee #1, an aviation mechanic with Thunder Air Charter, Inc., retrieved a gyroscope from a trash can in hangar #3. The gyroscope had been discarded from a privately-owned 1960 Cessna, model 210, purchased the day before by a coworker (the flight operations director) and a friend of the coworker. The plane had been moved into hanger #3 for them to worked on after business hours. Employee #1 began to experiment with the gyro, which normally operates at negative 7 psi (pounds per square inch). He connected a 110 psi shop air compressor to the inlet valve of the gyro and began "spinning" it. The high velocity resulting from the strong air pressure created a force that overcame the structural design limits of the gyro. It exploded into approximately 40 pieces, and a 1 in. diameter by 2 in. long metal fragment struck Employee #1 on the neck, severing a major artery. Employee #1 bled to death in approximately 90 seconds. Neither the plane nor the gyroscope were property of Thunder Air; Employee #1 had retrieved the gyroscope of his own free will and without the knowledge of management.
Keywords: air pressure, aircraft, loss of blood, mechanic, explosion, high pressure, neck, struck by, artery, flying object
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 302259825 Fatality Puncture Aircraft engine mechanics

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