Feb. 21, Dulles, Va. / Piper PA 32R-301 Saratoga


At about 18:25 EST, a Signature Flight Support employee was killed by the propellor of a Piper Saratoga that was preparing to depart Washington Dulles International Airport. The pilot and four passengers were not injured. The pilot said he had performed a preflight of the airplane and had left the chock behind the nosewheel. After starting the engine, the pilot was transcribing the ATIS information when he looked out the windscreen and noticed the ramp worker approaching the airplane. The pilot raised his arms in an attempt to signal the employee to stop but he walked into the propeller. The front seat passenger said the pilot tried to shut down the engine but was too late. The passenger also said the Signature employee bent down as if to retrieve the chock from behind the nose wheel just before the prop struck him. Investigators determined that the victim had been employed at Signature for approximately 3 weeks. He had no prior aviation experience, but was involved in Signatures seven-part training program. He was studying part two, which included handling propeller airplanes.


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