2009 Bizav Accidents Decrease as Flight Hours Decline
As flight activity last year declined from that of the previous year, so too did the number of U.S. business aircraft accidents, according to year-end statistics released yesterday by Boca Raton, Fla.-based industry safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates. In the business jet category, the total number of accidents for U.S.-registered aircraft saw a dramatic decline, from 23 in 2008 to eight in 2009. The lone fatal 2009 accident in the category came last month when a U.S.-registered Falcon 20D crashed in the Bahamas, killing the two-member flight crew. In 2008 there were five fatal accidents involving U.S.-registered business jets, for a total of 20 deaths. In the turboprop segment, the improvement was not as dramatic, as the overall number of accidents declined from 41 in 2008 to 36 last year; however, the number of fatal accidents decreased by more than half from 18 in 2008 to just seven last year. Last year, there were 30 fatalities in turboprop accidents, nearly half of them resulting from the crash last March of a Pilatus PC-12, compared with 38 people killed in turboprop accidents in 2008.