Fatal accidents decline significantly

 - May 7, 2008, 11:17 AM

In the first nine months of this year, the U.S. business jet and turboprop fleet suffered 47 accidents, including 12 fatal ones that killed 31 passengers and crew, according to Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. This is a slight decrease in the total number of accidents, but it is a major decline in fatalities vs the same period last year. Breiling reported 49 total accidents in the first three quarters of last year and 19 fatal accidents in which 66 passengers and crew were killed.

In the first nine months of this year there were only two fatal accidents involving U.S.-registered business jets–a Challenger 604 that crashed January 24 during takeoff in the UK, killing two passengers and three crewmembers; and a Learjet 25C that crashed August 30 at Lexington, Ky. in an overrun accident, killing one. There were five fatal jet accidents in the first nine months last year, in which 25 people were killed.

Turboprops had four more non-fatal accidents in the first nine months of this year than in the corresponding period last year (22 vs 18), but four fewer fatal accidents. The 25 people killed in turboprop accidents in the first three quarters represented a dramatic reduction from the 41 killed in the same three quarters last year.

In addition to three non-fatal accidents shown for fractional operations, fractional operators were involved in six incidents, one more than in the first nine months of last year. (The NTSB defines an incident as causing neither serious injury nor substantial damage.)