Fatal bizav accidents increase in first half of year

 - August 4, 2008, 7:12 AM

The number of people killed in turbine business airplane accidents across all segments increased in the first half of this year compared with the first six months of last year, according to figures compiled by safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. However, Breiling’s figures also show that corporate jets operated under Part 91 and flown by salaried pilots experienced no serious accidents in the first half of this year. Conversely, last year the one fatal business jet accident befell a Part 91 operation flown by a salaried crew.

Looking at all segments of business jet operations, there were three fatal accidents resulting in seven deaths versus one fatal accident resulting in five deaths in the first half of last year. Air-taxi jet operations, which experienced no fatalities in the period last year, suffered one fatal accident this year in which three people were killed. Three people were killed in an accident involving a Part 91 Citation I/SP flown by an owner-pilot (AIN, May, page 99), compared with no fatalities in this segment in the first six months of last year. No accidents were reported for fractional operations in the January-through-June timeframe this year, compared with three last year.

The one manufacturer accident shown on the chart was the April 26 fatal crash of a Sino Swearingen SJ30-2 conforming prototype (AIN, June, page 1).

Although there were no accidents for salaried-piloted Part 91 jets in the first six months, the opposite is true for their turboprop counterparts. Breiling reported eight people were killed in two accidents, compared with no deaths in the same Part 91 segment of turboprops last year. While there were slightly fewer total accidents with turboprops in the first half of this year, there were more fatal mishaps and more people killed than last year. Interestingly, deaths from accidents involving owner-pilots of turboprops actually decreased significantly from the same period last year.