Father of man who died after climbing into airplane engine reveals why he thinks he did it

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Feb 5, 2024 at 12:28 PM

Reading time: 1 minute

On 1 January 2024, Kyler Efinger died after climbing into the engine of a plane. The 30-year old was discovered inside a wing-mounted engine of an occupied commercial flight headed to San Francisco. Despite exhaustive efforts, Efinger was pronounced dead at the scene.

Why did Kyler Efinger climb into the engine?

Efinger’s family has identified mental health issues as the main cause of the incident. The man’s father, Judd Efinger, told FOX 13 that his son was experiencing a manic episode on the night of the incident.

“He got held up in security, missed his flight, and those phone calls, I just knew it was coming on. They call it the manic phase. Those just don’t end well for him. Obviously, this one, the worst ever.” Efinger explained to the news outlet.

Efinger was on to Denver, Colorado from Utah to visit his sick grandfather. Security footage shows him breach Salt Lake City International Airport security and escape through an emergency exit door. The footage shows him wearing only his socks and carrying his shoes in hand.

The 30-year-old somehow then made it on the tarmac, with video from a thermal imaging camera showing him approaching a slowly taxiing Delta Airlines plane.

Efinger was later found unconscious before the plane took off, behind the cowling, which is the removable cover over a plane engine. The fire department and Salt Lake City police attempted to revive him with CPR and by administering naloxone, a medicine used to reverse an opioid overdose, but their efforts proved unsuccessful.

What was the cause of Efinger death?

The cause of Efinger’s death has not yet been released. However, local and federal officials have launched a death investigation into the circumstances surrounding his passing. The victim’s personal items, such as clothing and his shoes, were found on a runway.

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