Business Aircraft Accident Picture Mixed

 - October 30, 2007, 11:17 AM

According to statistics compiled by Boca Raton, Fla.-based safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates, turbine-powered business airplanes were involved in 12 fatal accidents that killed 33 people in the first nine months of this year, compared with 15 accidents and 30 fatalities in the same period last year. For business jets, the number of accidents declined from 23 to 18 year-over-year, but five of this year’s accidents–none involving Part 91-operated corporate jets–resulted in 14 fatalities. For turboprops, the total number of accidents remained nearly level–23 in the first nine months of this year versus 22 the previous year–but the number of fatal accidents declined from 11 last year to seven this year. Accidents involving Part 135-operated aircraft were up 40 percent during the period, rising to 21 from 15, and this segment accounts for the majority of fatalities. So far this year, the Part 135 segment has seen nine more fatalities than in the same period last year. The major fractional operators continue to maintain their accident-free record.