Fatalities Remain Constant for Business Jets, Increase for Turboprops

 - October 21, 2013, 12:35 PM

The number of fatal accidents in business turbine airplanes worldwide in the first nine months of 2013 showed no improvement when compared with the same period last year, according to preliminary figures compiled by AIN.

Among N-numbered Part 91 business jets, 13 persons were killed in four crashes in the January-to-September period this year compared with 17 killed, also in four accidents, in the same period last year. The four fatal U.S. jet crashes this year involved two Raytheon Premiers (five fatalities), a U.S.-registered Learjet 60 in Venezuela (two killed) and a Cessna CitationJet crash in which four perished.

During the same period, there was a major improvement in U.S. business jet nonfatal accidents. Preliminary data showed six nonfatal accidents involving N-numbered business jets in the first three quarters of 2013 versus 23 last year. Part 91 operators reduced nonlethal accidents from 19 to three and Part 135 mishaps dropped from three to two.

Fractional jet operators continued their long multi-year streak of no fatal mishaps, although fractional jets were involved in one nonfatal accident in each of the two comparable periods.

The U.S.-registered turboprop fleet also experienced fewer nonfatal accidents this reporting period compared with the same period in 2012: 21 versus 27. There was, however, a significant spike in fatal accidents this year. Thirty-five people perished in 11 crashes compared with eight in three crashes last year, all but two occurring under Part 91. Part 135 turboprop operators, which suffered no fatalities in the nine-month period last year, experienced 11 fatalities in two crashes this year, including 10 people who perished in a single turbine Otter crash on an Alaskan air-taxi flight.