Bizav Accidents Decline, but Fatalities Rise

Business Jet Traveler » June 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009 - 5:00am

For the first quarter of this year, business aviation accidents, including those with fatalities, declined from the same period in 2008, according to Boca Raton, Fla.-based industry safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates. The number of aviation-accident deaths increased, however.

The statistics, particularly those for the turboprop segment, were skewed by the March 22, 2009 crash of a Part 91-operated Pilatus PC-12 in Butte, Mont., which resulted in 14 deaths. The total of 18 fatalities in the turboprop category was double the number in the same period last year, while three fewer accidents were recorded in this segment. The business jet category saw three nonfatal accidents in the first three months of 2009, the same as in the first quarter of last year, but suffered no fatal crashes as opposed to two fatal accidents resulting in seven deaths last year. Fractional operators demonstrated exemplary safety records, with no accidents in the first quarter of either year.

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“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”

-Howard Guy of Design Q, a UK-based consultancy