An NTSB investigator examines aircraft wreckage in a laboratory. (Photo: NTSB)

Fatalities in U.S. Bizjet Accidents Were Up Last Year

Fatal accidents of U.S.-registered business jets doubled from two in 2017 to four last year, while the number of fatalities more than tripled from three to 10 over the same period. All the fatal mishaps recorded for both years occurred during Part 91/non-commercial operations, according to preliminary data compiled by BJT sister publication Aviation International News. Accidents without fatalities and incidents also increased notably.

The first fatal accident last year occurred on April 15 when a Cessna CitationJet hit terrain in night IMC, killing the private pilot. On September 27, two pilots died when their Dassault Falcon 50 overran a runway while landing in day VMC (visual meteorological conditions). All three occupants aboard a Citation CJ2+ perished November 30 when the twinjet crashed shortly after takeoff. The last fatal accident in 2018 occurred on December 20 when a Citation 560 crashed also shortly after takeoff in IMC (instrument meteorological conditions), killing all four aboard. AIN's fatality data does not include an August 13 crash of a CitationJet that killed the sole-occupant pilot since it was an intentional act.

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Non-U.S. business jets were involved in three accidents that resulted in 16 fatalities last year versus 19 people killed in four fatal accidents in 2017. Eleven of the fatalities last year were the result of a single crash involving a privately operated Turkish-registered Bombardier Challenger 604.

Accidents, fatalities, and incidents from crashes of both U.S. and non-U.S. business turboprops decreased significantly in 2018 compared with 2017 in all regulatory operating segments.

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