Man Dies In A220 Nacelle


Numerous authorities are investigating after a Utah man died after crawling half naked into the nacelle of a Delta Air Lines A220 at Salt Lake City Airport. Police told CBS the engine was “rotating” but “the specific stage of engine operation remains under investigation.” Kyler Efinger, 30, of Park City, busted out of the airport through an emergency exit after an altercation with an employee at a store on the secure side of the airport. Efinger had a boarding pass for a flight to Denver and was in the departure area when he bolted for the ramp and ran to the deicing pad, where he crawled into the engine.

Along the way to the A220 he apparently shed at least some of his clothes and his shoes, which were found on a runway. When police found him they asked air traffic control to tell the pilots to shut down the engines. First responders did CPR and administered the opioid overdose intervention drug naloxone, but Efinger died at the scene. The cause of his death was not immediately released.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. Maybe the FAA oughta stop worrying about rare pilot mental health issues and start requiring passenger mental health certification prior to admittance to the secure areas of airports. This guy could have been sitting next to some poor people IN flight. It’s no darn wonder that folks who have the means fly privately do; airports and commercial flights in cattle cars is going from sublime to ridiculous. Maybe cabin crew needs to be better prepared with “stuff” to deal with these sorts of people, too.

    • “Maybe cabin crew needs to be better prepared with “stuff” to deal with these sorts of people, too.” You mean like tranquilizer darts? 😉

      Some years ago, when the concept of personal space first became a thing, some university conducted a study with rats. They started with an open space with a few rats, and then gradually decreased the spacing and increased the rat population. At some point, the rats became psychotic and started attacking each other. Maybe the airlines have reached that point with humans.

        • Saying that “drug legalization” is something that doesn’t work is, IMHO, quite correct and rational and not a “product of ignorance”. Prize of ignorance deserve those who agree with such a comment.

          • The ignorance is deriving from this article that “drug legalization” had anything at all to do with the incident that took place. Thank God you guys don’t work aircraft accident investigations. Your confirmation bias is overwhelming.

          • You got one thing right. It’s your opinion. You were so close!
            You know why politicians and issue organizations always put out anecdotal tales to make their points? Because humans consistently fall for it. Decades of drug wars were full of tragedies like this, yet were you saying then that each of them was due to prohibition? I doubt it.
            It’s confirmation bias, and some of us are falling for it here.
            This is a story. It’s a single anecdote. Don’t fall for anecdata.

    • Amazing anyone would bash you for making such an innocuous and rational statement. Says a lot about those who did. You listening, “J.R.”?

      Today’s society is very different from the one I grew up in, and not in a good way.

  2. This type of deranged suicidal or even homicidal abhorrent behavior has nothing to do with ” regionalism. ”
    I worked for DA [ ” serves the South ” ] ,crewed for them and other Airlines that operated not only in the South but all over North America and saw plenty of this type of drug fueled or mental illness fueled behavior in all parts of the North American continent and the Caribbean from 1976 to 2012.

    • Well, I’m looking at your picture there, and you do look rather dangerous. Maybe you over did it on the tattoos and piercings?


  3. Can you imagine feeling so freaked out that the only safe place is the nacelle of a rotating turbine engine?

  4. “The cause of his death was not immediately released.”

    A macabre, unintentionally funny last line of the article.

  5. Ya know, did we as a society always have these issues and we all are just more aware of them do to instantaneously, global connectivity or has something gone sadly wrong with our society? I grew up bugging a retired airline pilot who flew from the 50’s to late 70’s and one of his comentaries was the overall degradation of society structure and norms, which after deregulation increased 10 fold. (Which I guess would be expected with a larger swath of society flying) Anyhow, sad for this young man and esp. for his family.

    • Flying commercial prior to deregulation was a delight. Remember the restrictions on carry ons and baggage? How polite everyone was, well almost everyone except the frightened drunks. But I did dislike all the smoking.

      • I just had a reason to do some research on commercial flying in the 50’s through 70’s. You’re right … people dressed UP to fly, not down. It’s as bad as walking into a WalMart and seeing people in what appears to be their pajamas walking around. When I flew Space A in the military, I was required to wear my dress uniform. You’ve hit the root of the problem … degredation of the Society. OH … and Steve Jobs had a hand in it, too … he’ likely laughing up wherever he is.

    • The answer is yes. There’s been a good bit of degradation, and there’s more awareness of it due to media.

  6. Flying while ‘high’ and on a ‘bad trip’ is never a good idea for any person nor for fellow travelers.

    It was likely fortunate for the other persons on Kyler’s scheduled flight to Denver that his route to Hell was diverted to a shorter route.

  7. The WHOLE POINT of airport physical security is to stop crazed people from getting to aircraft on the ramp.