According to data released by aviation safety consulting firm Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla., there has been a “considerable increase” in the number of accidents (both fatal and nonfatal) and fatalities involving business jets and turboprops in the first nine months of this year. In the first three quarters of last year, there were 39 accidents (12 fatal) and 32 fatalities involving turbine-powered business airplanes; the fleet experienced 56 accidents (17 fatal) and 49 fatalities in the same period this year.
Among business jets, there were 22 accidents, including five fatal accidents with 22 fatalities in the first nine months of this year, up from 18 accidents (five fatal) and 14 fatalities in the same time frame last year. Business turboprops experienced 34 accidents, including 12 fatals that claimed 27 lives, during the three quarters, compared with 21 accidents (seven fatal) and 18 fatalities during the same period last year.
In the first nine months, Part 91 professionally flown corporate jet operators were involved in five nonfatal accidents and one fatal accident causing five fatalities; last year there were only three nonfatal accidents. Turboprop operators in the pro-flown category experienced two nonfatal accidents and one fatal accident that claimed 10 this year, versus only one nonfatal accident last year.
During the first three quarters, Part 91 nonprofessionally flown business jets were involved in six accidents, including one fatal accident with five fatalities, compared with two fatal accidents that resulted in four fatalities last year. Turboprops in this category experienced nine nonfatal accidents and six fatal accidents that claimed six this year, versus seven nonfatal accidents and three fatal accidents that claimed eight.
Part 135-operated business jets and turboprops experienced 23 accidents (eight fatal) and 26 fatalities in the first nine months, compared with 22 accidents (seven fatal) and 20 fatalities last year. The major fractionals continued their fatality-free history, but this segment did record two nonfatal accidents in the first three quarters, versus only one nonfatal accident in the same period last year.