Charter Leader Challenges WSJ Aviation Safety Claims

 - November 12, 2012, 1:45 PM

Air Charter Safety Foundation president Bryan Burns said that an October 24 story in The Wall Street Journal has unfairly tarnished the safety record of business aircraft operations in the U.S. The article reported that 140 people have died in non-airline commercial aircraft crashes during the first 10 months of this year. Citing Flight Safety Foundation data, the newspaper maintained, “The number of accidents involving business jets and turboprops worldwide is more than five times that of commercial jets this year, highlighting the challenges facing accident-prevention experts in improving safety for private and charter aviation.”

Burns took issue not with what the story said, but with what it left out. Speaking on behalf of the Part 135 commercial jet community, he told AIN, “Every crash [mentioned in the story] occurred internationally…places like Nepal, Russia, Sudan, Brazil, Ukraine, Nigeria and Pakistan. The article raises undue alarm relative to the outstanding safety record that U.S. charter operators have maintained for years.”

ACSF shared some recent accident data the foundation received from Robert E. Breiling & Associates that paints a different picture of charter flying when those operations are separated out from worldwide data. Breiling’s data lists 17 accidents involving charter aircraft in the U.S. since 2008. Of those 17, four accidents accounted for 16 fatalities versus the 140 mentioned in the WSJ piece.

AIN recently released its own year-to-date safety statistics.