Accidents Down, Jet Fatalities Up in First Half of the Year

 - July 31, 2007, 9:16 AM

In the first half of this year business jet accidents decreased 31 percent from the same period last year, but fatal accidents were up from two to five, according to numbers released last month by Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. As a result, business jet-related fatalities were up from six in the first half of last year to 14 in the first half of this year.

Total business aviation accidents were down slightly from January to June last year, from 29 to 25. Corporate jets accounted for the majority of the decrease. The sector suffered one accident in the first half of this year compared with six in the same period last year. The air-taxi record of both jet and turboprop operators was significantly worse this year, with a combined 15 accidents, five of them fatal, compared with just seven accidents (four of them fatal) in the first half of last year.

All told, there were 21 business aviation-related fatalities in the first half of the year, 14 of them during air-taxi operations.

There was a silver lining for turboprop operators, however. Although the sector accounted for 13 accidents last year and 14 this year, only three of this year’s accidents were fatal, versus seven last year. As a percentage of total accidents, turboprop fatals represented 21 percent, less than half of the 45-percent rate for business jets.

Fractional operators maintained their stellar safety record in the first half of the year. In the same period last year the sector suffered one nonfatal accident. In the first six months of this year there were no accidents and only one incide