Man survives walk into airplane propeller

CHRIS KITCHING -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 3:14 PM ET

A 50-year-old man is recovering in Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre from injuries he suffered when he walked into a small aircraft's rotating propeller blades yesterday in the hamlet of Kleefeld, 45 km south-east of Winnipeg.

The Kleefeld resident suffered non-life threatening upper-body injuries -- a dislocated right shoulder and lacerations to his right side -- in the accident and will survive what could have been a fatal mistake.

"The chances of surviving impact with a propeller on any aircraft is remote," RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve Saunders said last night. "This gentleman is extremely fortunate."

Kleefeld is about 45 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg on Provincial Road 216.

Saunders said the 56-year-old pilot was taxiing his single-engine Cessna 150 from a church in the village to a hangar on his property nearby when the accident occurred about 4:30 p.m.

"They were about to cross (PR 216) and one of the men who was helping him (by stopping oncoming traffic) walked in front of the propeller," Saunders said. "He had his vehicle there and he was trying to make sure that the wing of the plane was going to clear his vehicle."

The propeller is driven by the engine in the plane's nose. Propellers, in general, spin at high speed and can sever limbs and cause fatal injuries to a person who comes in contact with the rotating blades.

Saunders didn't know how long of a hospital stay the unidentified man would require. He was taken to Bethesda Hospital in Steinbach and then transferred to HSC in Winnipeg.

RCMP continue to investigate the accident, along with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Saunders said.


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