There were 12 nonfatal accidents, three fatal accidents and 21 fatalities resulting from U.S.-registered business jet crashes in the first nine months of this year, compared with seven nonfatal accidents, five fatal accidents and 15 fatalities in the first nine months of last year, according to safety analyst firm Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. None of the fatal accidents and only two of the nonfatal crashes involved Part 91 operations flown by career pilots, whereas last year eight people were killed in two Part 91 bizjet accidents in which the airplanes were being flown by salaried crews.
The three fatal business jet accidents were a Part 135 Gulfstream III in Aspen, Colo., in which 18 people were killed on March 29; a Part 91 privately operated Citation 501SP near Green Bay, Wis., in which the pilot was killed on April 2; and a Part 135 cargo-carrying Learjet 25 in Ithaca, N.Y., in which both pilots were killed on August 24.
There was also a significant increase in serious turboprop accidents. Breiling reports 21 nonfatal accidents, 15 fatal ones and 41 fatalities in the first nine months of this year. Two of the fatalities involved parachute jumpers and not airplane crashes. In the first nine months of last year there were 20 nonfatal turboprop accidents, five fatal accidents and 30 fatalities. More than half the turboprop fatalities resulted from airplanes being flown by owner-pilots or non-career pilots under Part 91. A third of the fatalities occurred in crashes of turboprops being operated under Part 135. Five people were killed in the one Part 91 accident in which the turboprop was being crewed by a salaried pilot.