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Weymouth man killed by propeller at Beverly airport

August 27, 2010 06:34 PM

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A 30-year-old flight instructor from Weymouth was struck and killed this afternoon by an airplane propeller at Beverly Municipal Airport when the man exited his aircraft to help another pilot, officials said.

Michael Costales was waiting to taxi his single-engine aircraft to runway 34 when he noticed a plane ahead of him, carrying a pilot and a student pilot, having trouble with its canopy, according to the Essex district attorney’s office, which conducted a preliminary investigation of the incident.

Though details were unclear today about what happened next, when he got out to help the other plane, Costales was struck by his own propeller, the district attorney’s office said.

His death appears to be an accident, officials said. The airport was closed for a couple of hours after the incident.

Costales was the head flight instructor for the Beverly Flight Center, a flight school at the airport, where he had worked the past decade, said Paul Vitale, chairman of the Beverly Airport Commission.

"He was a great guy, loved the airport, and loved his job," Vitale said. "It’s just a tragedy."

The FAA, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

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