Bizjet, Turboprop Safety Improves Greatly in 1H09
While business aircraft flight hours are down from last year, the level of industry safety has increased disproportionately, according to statistics released by Boca Raton, Fla.-based business aviation safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates. In the first half of the year, the U.S. business airplane fleet experienced 13 accidents versus 34 during the same period last year, equaling a nearly 62-percent decline in the number of accidents. Fatal accidents declined from 10 in the first six months of last year to three thus far this year. The business jet category saw no fatalities during the first half of this year and just four accidents, compared with 11 accidents in the same period last year, including two fatal accidents that caused seven deaths. The turboprop segment also saw dramatic improvement, with a decline from 23 accidents (including eight fatal crashes resulting in 13 deaths) in the opening half of last year to nine this year. These 2009 accidents include three fatal events that resulted in 18 deaths and are heavily weighted by the March 22 crash of a Pilatus PC-12, which claimed the lives of 14 people.