Police identify man who died in plane engine at Salt Lake City International Airport

Jan 2, 2024, 3:43 AM | Updated: 4:09 pm

A plane is parked at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City....

A plane is parked at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City police are investigating the death of 30-year-old Park City resident Kyler Effinger, after an apparent security breach at Salt Lake City International Airport. 

Police said around 10 p.m. Monday night, an airport store manager contacted dispatchers to report a passenger security breach. According to police, the man used an emergency exit to reach a deicing pad at the airport. He ultimately climbed into the intake cowling of a commercial aircraft bound for San Francisco from Salt Lake City. (A cowling is a hood-like covering for an engine.)

When Salt Lake City police learned Efinger was under the plane, they reportedly asked air traffic controllers to ask the pilot to shut down the plane’s engines. 

Police and employees from the airport found Effinger unconscious inside a wing-mounted engine belonging to an Airbus A220 with 95 passengers and five crew members aboard. According to a press release, the aircraft’s engines were rotating when Effinger was found.

Cause of death at Salt Lake airport is unclear

Rescue officials tried to revive Effinger at 10:15 p.m., which included CPR and naloxone, an overdose reversal drug. Officials said that Effinger died on the scene.

 In a separate news release, Salt Lake City airport officials said it was unclear what caused Effinger’s death.

According to a press release, SLCPD officers are working with the medical examiner’s office to confirm the cause and manner of death, which may include a toxicology report.

SLCPD said Effinger was a ticketed passenger with a boarding pass to Denver, Colorado.

According to a statement from the airport, multiple agencies will investigate. These include the FAA, NTSB, and TSA. The Salt Lake City International Airport and local police will also investigate. 

Delta said in a statement, “As nothing is more important than the safety and security of our customers and people, Delta is fully cooperating with all aviation authority and law enforcement investigations.”

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Police identify man who died in plane engine at Salt Lake City International Airport