This year’s accident picture is looking worse than last year’s. The number of fatalities from business jet accidents worldwide in just the first half of this year exceeds the number for all of last year, according to statistics gathered by AIN. In the first six months of this year, 29 people died in seven fatal crashes involving U.S.- and non-U.S.-registered business jets, compared with 23 people killed in eight fatal mishaps in all of last year. Fifteen people aboard N-numbered business jets died in four fatal accidents in the first half of this year versus nine in three crashes last year.
The following U.S. jet models were involved in fatal accidents in this year’s first six months (with the number of fatalities shown in parentheses): Challenger 601 (1), Citation I (4), Gulfstream IV-SP (7) and IAI Westwind (3). In January through June 2013, two U.S. jet models suffered fatal crashes: a Learjet 60 (2) and two Premier Is (7). All of these U.S. jet accidents occurred under FAR Part 91. Part 135 charter/air taxi jet operations were involved in just one nonfatal accident in each of the comparable periods. Fractional jet operations under Part 91K had no accidents in the first half of this year compared with one in the same time frame last year. Fractional operations also experienced one incident in each period. The official investigations into the accidents listed above remain in “preliminary” status.
Turboprops registered worldwide were the only segment of the turbine business fleet to incur smaller fatal and nonfatal accident numbers over the comparable six-month periods. In the first half of this year, 16 people died in six fatal crashes involving U.S.-registered propjets (all under Part 91) compared with 18 fatalities in eight fatal accidents last year (seven under Part 91 and one under Part 135). U.S. turboprops also had fewer nonfatal accidents: seven so far in 2014 (six under Part 91 and one under Part 135) and 12 in the first half of last year (all Part 91 flights). The number of turboprop incidents nearly halved in the current period versus the first half of last year.
Accident statistics in the two calendar periods for non-U.S.-registered business turbine airplanes mirrored the U.S. fleet in that there were fewer fatalities from turboprop accidents and more from jet crashes. In the recent first half, 14 people perished in three jet accidents (none under the equivalent of Part 91 rules) versus two who died in one Part 91-equivalent accident last year. A mix of four private, charter and other non N-numbered turboprop fatal accidents took the lives of 15 people versus seven fatal crashes last year resulting in 33 fatalities.
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