A college student who rented a light aircraft so he could impress his date by flying her to a posh restaurant 50 miles away died after being decapitated by the plane’s propeller.
The horrific accident took place at around 10.30pm on Sunday, October, 16, at the Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport in Georgia.
Sani Aliyu, 21, was on his way home from the romantic dinner when he took a step too close to the front of the aircraft, was struck by a propeller blade, and was killed instantly.
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Bulloch County Coroner Jake Futch told local Georgia newspaper The Telegraph that as the couple left their aircraft, the young woman walked towards the rear of the plane.
But as Sani exited the plane, “he walked toward the front," Futch said. "And when he did, the propeller hit him in the head, killing him instantly."
An ambulance was rushed to the scene Futch added, but Sani had already died after being hit in the head twice by the fast-moving propeller.
In a statement, the US Federal Aviation Administration explained: "A single-engine Cessna 172 with four people on board landed without incident at Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport in Statesboro, Ga., around 10:35 p.m. local time Sunday.
“After the plane taxied to the ramp area, a passenger got out and was struck by the propeller."
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Bulloch County Sheriff's Office's captain Todd Hutchens told the Statesboro Herald that Sani, who lived in Atlanta, had known the aircraft’s pilot and co-pilot. The names of the aircrew, and Sani’s date for the evening, have not been released by the authorities.
"Nobody is really at fault or anything, it was an accident, so we just have to communicate all of our information with them," Hutchens said.
Sani had been a student at Georgia Southern University, where Dr. Aileen C. Dowell, associate vice president and dean of students, released a statement saying she was “saddened” by news of the tragic incident.
“I have already been in touch with his family and professors and we have mobilised all available resources to provide counselling and any other assistance the university can give,” she said.
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