Bizjet accidents down, but fatalities increase
The U.S. business jet and turboprop fleet experienced 44 accidents– including 18 that resulted in a total of 46 passenger and crew fatalities– in the first nine months of this year, according to Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla.
Although there was one less accident involving all jet and turboprop operators in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period last year, the number of fatal accidents rose by seven and fatalities by 17. In the first nine months of last year, there were 45 accidents, including 11 fatal accidents with a total of 29 fatalities.
There were 14 business jet accidents involving all types of operators in the first nine months of this year. Seven of those involved fatalities to 14 passengers and crewmembers.
During the same period last year, 14 accidents occurred–including two fatal crashes that resulted in six passenger and crew fatalities. The six fatal business jet accidents this year are:
- A business-operated Citation I/SP that crashed following an uncontrolled descent, fatal to the two passengers and the single pilot on board.
- A Swearingen SJ30-2 business jet flight-test accident resulting in the pilot fatality.
- A commercial air-taxi Falcon 20 cargo flight crash-on-approach accident, fatal to three on board.
- A commercial air-taxi Learjet 35A crash during a positioning flight, fatal to the two crewmembers.
- A commercial air-taxi Learjet 25B overshot landing in VMC, fatal to one crewmember.
- A commercial air-taxi Hawker 700 crash during a training flight while conducting slow flight and approaches to stalls, fatal to the three crewmembers on board.
All turboprop operator types were involved in 30 accidents in the first nine months of this year. Eleven were fatal, resulting in 32 passenger and crew deaths. During the same period last year, there were 31 accidents, including nine fatal accidents, which caused 23 deaths.
Corporate/executive jet operators have not been involved in any accidents this year to date, versus two accidents–one of them fatal–last year. That accident resulted in five fatalities.
Turboprop operators in this category experienced two fatal accidents resulting in eight fatalities in this 2003 period versus one nonfatal accident during the same period last year.
Commercial/air taxi operators of jets and turboprops experienced 25 accidents, 10 of which were fatal resulting in 26 fatalities during the 2003 period versus 22 accidents including three fatal accidents and three fatalities occurring in the first nine months of last year.
Private/business operators of jets and turboprops had 15 accidents– four of them fatal to 10 people–during the 2003 period. In the same period a year ago, there were 16 accidents, including seven that killed a total of 21 people.
Major fractionals did not have any accidents during the first nine months of this year. Three non-fatal accidents were experienced in the first nine months of last year.
Public/government-operated business jet and turboprop aircraft were not involved in any accidents during the first nine months of this year, but did incur one nonfatal accident during the same period last year.
In the category labeled manufacturer/other, one fatal accident was reported in the first nine months of this year, the previously mentioned Swearingen test flight. In the same period last year, one incident was reported.