Business Aviation Safety Off To Bad Start in 2007

 - January 16, 2007, 9:43 AM

Two fatal business jet accidents in the first two weeks of this year claimed the lives of four pilots. A Cessna 525 operated by Sun Quest Executive Air Charter of Van Nuys, Calif., crashed on January 12 shortly after takeoff from Van Nuys Airport, and a cargo-carrying Learjet 24 operated by Ameristar Jet Charter of Dallas crashed on January 9 on approach to Miguel Hidalgo Airport in Guadalajara, Mexico. The NTSB investigator in charge of the Cessna 525 accident told AIN that one of the nose baggage doors was open during takeoff, though he could not yet confirm if debris was ingested by one of the engines. Meanwhile, according to an Ameristar representative, the NTSB and representatives from Bombardier and engine manufacturer GE are investigating the Learjet accident. There was no distress call and weather was VMC at the time of the accident. This is the third fatal accident in the past six years for Ameristar.